How A Life Exposed To Violence Impacts Your Life Span
The Journal Sciences Advances had done a recent study on life expectancy in violent regions in the world where it showed it was much lower.
Life expectancy for young people can be as much as 14 years shorter in violent countries, according to new research.
Living in a violent society can create vulnerability and uncertainty, leading to more violent behavior and less life predictability.
While violent deaths are responsible for a high proportion of the differences in lifetime uncertainty, those who are not involved in violence could be at risk too.
While men are often the victim of violence, women in non-peaceful countries face dire and sometimes fatal consequences of not being the victim directly.
The study reported that in some Latin American countries, female homicides have increased over the last decades and exposure to violent environments brings health and social burdens, particularly for children and women.
Co-author Professor Ridhi Kashyap, of Oxford’s Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science, said: “Whilst men are the major direct victims of violence, women are more likely to experience non-fatal consequences in violent contexts.
“These indirect effects of violence should not be ignored as they fuel gender inequalities, and can trigger other forms of vulnerability and causes of death.”
The impact of violence on mortality thus goes much further than just cutting lives short.
The study revealed that the most violent countries are also those with the highest lifetime uncertainty, as those left behind must constantly face the question of who could be next.
However, the reason for this depends on each country.
In the Middle East, conflict-related deaths at young ages are the biggest contributor to this.
While in countries in Latin America such as El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Colombia, a similar pattern of results is due to homicides and interpersonal violence.
Unlike these areas, lifetime uncertainty was “remarkably low” between 2008-2017 in most Northern and Southern European countries.
While Europe has been the most peaceful region over the period, the Russian invasion of Ukraine will impact this.
Another key finding is that in high-income countries, reduced cancer mortality has recently helped to reduce lifetime uncertainty.
Lead author, Dr. José Manuel Aburto, also from the Leverhulme Centre and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, added: “What we found most striking is that lifetime uncertainty has a greater association with violence than life expectancy.
“Lifetime uncertainty, therefore, should not be overlooked when analyzing changes in mortality patterns.”
The team used mortality data from 162 countries and the Internal Peace Index between 2008 and 2017 for the study.
Dr. Manuel Aburto said: “We estimate a gap of around 14 years in remaining life expectancy at age ten between the least and most violent countries.”
Co-author, Vanessa di Lego, from the Wittgenstein Centre of Demography and Global Human Capital, added: “It is striking how violence alone is a major driver of disparities in lifetime uncertainty.
“One thing is for certain, global violence is a public health crisis, with tremendous implications for population health, and should not be taken lightly.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker.