A global assessment of the impact of violence on lifetime uncertainty
Science Advances, 9:5, 1–10 (2023)
Uncertainty around age at death, or lifetime uncertainty, is a key public health indicator and a marker of inequality in survival. How does the extent of violence affect lifetime uncertainty? We address this question by quantifying the impact of violence on dispersion in the ages at death, the metric most used to measure lifetime uncertainty. Using mortality data from the Global Burden of Disease Study and the Internal Peace Index between 2008 and 2017, we find that the most violent countries are also those with the highest lifetime uncertainty. In the Middle East, conflict-related deaths are the largest contributor to lifetime uncertainty. In Latin America, a similar pattern is attributable to homicides. The effects are larger in magnitude for men, but the consequences remain considerable for women. Our study points to a double burden of violence on longevity: Not only does violence shorten individual lives, but it also makes the length of life less predictable.