Violence costs U.S. 70 billion dollars annually

In the most comprehensive of its kind, researchers at CDC examined the costs of violence in different sub-populations and categories of violence, revealing specific targets for cost effective interventions.

Violence costs U.S. 70 billion dollars annually
Violence costs the United States 70 billion dollars annually, a figure that rivals federal education spending and the damage caused by hurricane Katrina, according to a new study.

In the most comprehensive of its kind, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed eight national data sets compiled by the federal government and calculated medical costs as well as productivity losses. They also examined the costs of violence in different sub-populations and categories of violence, revealing specific targets for cost effective interventions.

The researchers found that most of the costs of violence stem from males and young adults. Sixty-eight percent of the costs from assaults and 63 percent of the costs from self-inflicted injuries were in males aged 15 to 44.

Phaedra Corso, lead author of the study and health economist at the CDC, said the study illustrates how much money can be saved by investing in programs that decrease interpersonal violence and self-inflicted violence such as suicide.

For comparison, the federal Department of Education has an annual budget of 67.2 billion dollars and hurricane Katrina caused an estimated 80 billion in damage.

Violence can be prevented, and this study highlights the benefits of prevention, said Corso, whose study appears in the June issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The most burdensome category is among young males who are victims of assaults with firearms, Corso said.

Other findings from the study include:

Most of the 70 billion dollars in costs associated with violence were from lost productivity (64.4 billion), with the remaining 5.6 billion spent on medical care.

Americans suffer 2.2 million medically treated injuries due to interpersonal violence annually, at a cost of 37 billion dollars (33 billion in productivity losses, 4 billion in medical treatment);

The cost of self-inflicted injuries (suicide and attempted suicide) is 33 billion dollars annually (32 billion in productivity losses, 1 billion dollars in medical costs);

People aged 15 to 44 years comprise 44 percent of the population, but account for nearly 75 percent of injuries and 83 percent of costs due to interpersonal violence;

The nearly 17,000 annual homicides result in 22.1 billion dollars in costs; and

The average cost per homicide was 1.3 million in lost productivity and 4,906 in medical costs.
Last Mod: 11 Haziran 2007, 13:57
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