Life expectancy in a violent country can be reduced by 14 years

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The length of life in violent countries is less predictable and Life expectancy of young people can be up to 14 years shorter compared to peaceful states, according to a study carried out by an international team led by the Oxford University.

This study, published in the prestigious journal Sciences Advances, confirms that the impact of violence on mortality goes beyond shortening lives, since when living in a violent country, citizens also have more uncertainty before life.

To reach these conclusions, the researchers used mortality data from 162 countries and the Internal Peace Index between 2008 and 2017.

Thus they observed that the most violent countries are also those with the highest life uncertainty.

In the case of the Middle East, it is the conflict-related deaths at early ages the ones that contribute the most to the perception of high uncertainty.

In Latin America, they noted a similar pattern resulting from homicides and interpersonal violence.

At the other extreme, they concluded that life uncertainty was “remarkably low” between 2008 and 2017 in most northern and southern European countries.

The study also confirms that "the cycles of poverty, insecurity and violence magnify pre-existing structural patterns of disadvantage for women."

Thus, the researchers affirm that in some Latin American countries the murders of women have increased in recent decades and exposure to violent environments is having "social and health consequences, particularly for children and women."

"Although men are the main direct victims of violence, women are more likely to experience its consequences in violent contexts," they maintain.

In general, living in a violent society “creates vulnerability and uncertainty”, and that in turn can lead to more violent behavior, maintains this study, which "estimates a gap of about 14 years in life expectancy between the least and most violent countries."

The Ikerbasque researcher at the Spanish University of Basque Country, Tim Riffe, considers that it is important to show in a "broad sense" what are the effects that violence has on the health of the population, with the aim that it can be considered a public health problem and therefore prevention programs can be developed.

"Violence, as a cause of death, is in principle easier to prevent than other major causes, such as cancer, and the benefits of doing so are both immediate and long-lasting," he maintains.

The study is based on the use of massive data and is based, in part, on mortality estimates modeled by the project Global Burden of Diseasesince many of the populations included do not have direct demographic information on mortality, specified Ikerbasque in a press release.

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