MONDAY, Sept. 18, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- The economic burden of youth violence reached $122 billion in 2020 and was dominated by homicides, according to a research letter published online Sept. 18 in JAMA Pediatrics.
Cora Peterson, Ph.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues reported the annual economic burden of youth violence injuries using national data. The number of homicides and nonfatal assault injury emergency department visits among youths aged 10 to 24 years and the economic cost of medical care spending, lost work productivity, reduced quality of life from injury morbidity, and avoidable mortality during 2015 to 2020 was examined using the publicly available Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System Cost of Injury website.
The researchers found that during 2015 to 2019, the annual economic burden of youth violence injuries was $105 to $115 billion and reached $122 billion in 2020. There was a decreasing number of nonfatal assault injury emergency department visits and associated nonfatal economic burden during 2015 to 2019, but due to a persistently high number of homicides, the total annual economic burden remained similar. The total annual economic burden of youth violence was 17 percent higher in 2020 than in 2019 due to a 36 percent increase in youth homicides, despite the lowest annual number of nonfatal assault injury emergency department visits.
"Highlighting the economic burden of youth violence is essential to inform decision-making about the value of targeted prevention strategies," the authors write.