USA: Domestic Violence Increases Health Care Costs
Thursday, May 14, 2009 3:48 PM

On 16 April 2009, the American Medical Association's National Advisory Council on Violence and Abuse briefed Congressional staff about the increased health care costs associated with physical, sexual, and psychological violence. The Council said that such violence can have a significant effect on both short- and long-term health for victims, and that effective prevention efforts will decrease health care costs.

Experts at the briefing cited studies indicating that women who are the victims of domestic violence are 80% more likely than other women to have a stroke, 70% more likely to have heart disease, 60% more likely to have asthma, and 70% more likely to drink heavily. Children who witness domestic violence are at an increased risk of obesity, substance abuse, cancer, heart disease, and depression.

The Council, in urging its support of efforts to prevent domestic violence, emphasized the public's concern with the resulting long-term costs.

Compiled from: Preventing Violence Can Reduce Health Care Costs, Family Violence Prevention Fund (8 May 2009).