When some of your insurance clients say their long-term care planning provider is a bullet, they may be telling you the truth.

That’s one possible conclusion that a user of government mortality data could draw from a quick look at results from a query of cause-of-death data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2014, U.S. residents ages 65 and older were about 25 percent more likely to die because of an incident involving firearms than U.S. residents ages 64 and younger were.

The civilian firearm-related death rate for people ages 100,000 and older was 12.7 per 100,000, compared with 10.2 for people ages 64 and younger.

Many of those deaths are the result of suicide. 

For people ages 64 and younger, the death rate was 4.3 per 100,000 for firearm deaths unrelated to suicide, and 5.9 pr 100,000 for firearm-related suicides.

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For people ages 65 and older, the death rate was just 1.1 per 100,000 for firearm deaths unrelated to suicide, and 11.6 per 100,000 for firearm-related suicides.

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The CDC makes cause-of-death data available to the public, for health statistical reporting and analysis purposes only, through its WONDER search system.

One way to use this data may be to energize your efforts to help older clients, including older clients who may be acting as caregivers for loved ones with serious disabilities, get access to the financial resources, emotional support and respite care services they need to make life bearable.

Another way to think about the data is as an introduction to the CDC WONDER system query tool, which can give agents and brokers a powerful tool for analyzing why Americans die.

The current version of  the database includes figures on a large catalog of causes of death. The list of causes of deaths related to falls, for example, includes everything from falls from ladders to falls involving wheelchairs.

Meanwhile, for a look at the 10 states with the highest firearm-related death rates in 2014 for residents ages 65 and older, read on:

Idaho

(iStock)

10. Idaho

Elder firearm deaths per 100,000: 18.

Number of elder firearm deaths: 42.

Number of residents 65 and older: 233,376.

 

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Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky’s largest city. (Photo: Thinkstock) 

9. Kentucky

Elder firearm deaths per 100,000: 18.

Number of elder firearm deaths: 118.

Number of residents 65 and older: 654,514.

 

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Oklahoma

8. Oklahoma

Elder firearm deaths per 100,000: 18.1.

Number of elder firearm deaths: 102.

Number of residents 65 and older: 562,531.

 

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Arizona

Trees on the rim of the Grand Canyon. (Photo: Getty Images)

7. Arizona

Elder firearm deaths per 100,000: 18.4.

Number of elder firearm deaths: 197.

Number of residents 65 and older: 1,070,217.

 

Related: 10 best states to move to when you retire 

Denver

Blue haze over Denver, Colorado’s capital. (Photo: Thinkstock)

6. Colorado

Elder firearm deaths per 100,000: 20.1.

Number of elder firearm deaths: 137.

Number of residents 65 and older: 680,015.

 

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Arkansas flag 

5. Arkansas

Elder firearm deaths per 100,000: 20.8.

Number of elder firearm deaths: 97.

Number of residents 65 and older: 466,191.

 

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Oregon

An art van in Portland, Oregon. (Photo: Thinkstock)

4. Oregon

Elder firearm deaths per 100,000: 21.1.

Number of elder firearm deaths: 134.

Number of residents 65 and older: 633,887.

 

Related: 10 worst states to move to when you retire

Montana

Montana’s Fred Robinson Bridge. (Photo: National Park Service)

3. Montana

Elder firearm deaths per 100,000: 22.8.

Number of elder firearm deaths: 39.

Number of residents 65 and older: 171,155.

 

Related: Assisted suicide & estate planning: issues to weigh 

New Mexico

A long and mournful highway in New Mexico. (Photo: Thinkstock)

2. New Mexico

 

Elder firearm deaths per 100,000: 22.9.

Number of elder firearm deaths: 73.

Number of residents 65 and older: 318,855.

 

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Las Vegas

Las Vegas may contribute to Nevada’s unusually high firearm death rate among residents ages 65 and older. (Photo: Thinkstock)

1. Nevada

Elder firearm deaths per 100,000: 23.9.

Number of elder firearm deaths: 96.

Number of residents 65 and older: 401,847.

   

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USA

The CDC WONDER system can generate a wide range of mortality reports. (Image: Thinkstock)

Here’s a table giving the civilian firearm death rates for 2014, for residents ages 65 and older, for all U.S. states:

 

50-state elder firearm death data

State

Deaths

Population

Crude rate per 100,000

Alabama  118 743,932 15.9
Alaska  10 69,413 Unreliable
Arizona  197 1,070,217 18.4
Arkansas  97 466,191 20.8
California  558 4,993,047 11.2
Colorado  137 680,015 20.1
Connecticut  45 555,923 8.1
Delaware  22 153,907 14.3
Florida  538 3,791,544 14.2
Georgia  207 1,251,538 16.5
Hawaii  14 228,154 Unreliable
Idaho  42 233,376 18
Illinois  142 1,788,533 7.9
Indiana  128 941,444 13.6
Iowa  53 491,349 10.8
Kansas  59 415,459 14.2
Kentucky  118 654,514 18
Louisiana  110 632,894 17.4
Maine  34 243,507 14
Maryland  89 822,260 10.8
Massachusetts  40 1,016,237 3.9
Michigan  156 1,530,052 10.2
Minnesota  64 780,142 8.2
Mississippi  73 428,383 17
Missouri  160 932,215 17.2
Montana  39 171,155 22.8
Nebraska  28 270,989 10.3
Nevada  96 401,847 23.9
New Hampshire  23 211,063 10.9
New Jersey  63 1,313,503 4.8
New Mexico  73 318,855 22.9
New York  121 2,898,094 4.2
North Carolina  233 1,463,362 15.9
North Dakota  11 104,998 Unreliable
Ohio  226 1,799,169 12.6
Oklahoma  102 562,531 18.1
Oregon  134 633,887 21.1
Pennsylvania  238 2,134,521 11.2
South Carolina  117 761,865 15.4
South Dakota  10 130,223 Unreliable
Tennessee  172 985,700 17.4
Texas  446 3,099,081 14.4
Utah  48 295,260 16.3
Vermont  17 106,199 Unreliable
Virginia  172 1,146,886 15
Washington  130 992,755 13.1
West Virginia  56 328,612 17
Wisconsin  81 875,868 9.2
Wyoming  13 81,641 Unreliable
TOTAL 5,865 46,243,211 12.7
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2014.

 

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