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January Health Affairs: Impact of violence on Mexico's life expectancy

Health Affairs

Health Affairs

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IMAGE: This image shows changes in male life expectancy at birth (years) in Mexico, by state and period, from 2000 to 2005 and from 2005 to 2010. view more

Credit: Health Affairs 2016

One of the studies in the January issue of Health Affairs examines life expectancy trends in Mexico between 2000 and 2010 and notes that homicide rates in the second half of the decade caused male life expectancy to stagnate. Although homicide has typically been associated with Mexican states linked to drug cartel operations, these results highlight increasing rates of male homicide in states with historically low levels of homicide (exhibit below). The study, by José Manuel Aburto, a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research; Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez, at the University of California, Los Angeles; and coauthors, used data from vital statistics files available through the Mexican National Institute of Statistics and Geography.

"Our results suggest that approaches such as epidemiological surveillance can...strengthen policies to reduce violence," the authors conclude. "Evidence from other countries such as Colombia suggests that it is possible to reduce homicide mortality rates by implementing community programs...that focus on lessening risk factors (for example, alcohol use and firearm possession)."

Also of interest in the issue:

"Mexico's Seguro Popular Appears To Have Helped Reduce The Risk Of Preterm Delivery Among Women With Low Education," by Carly Strouse of the University of California, Berkeley, and coauthors.

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