Economic value of disability-adjusted life years lost to violence: estimates for WHO Member States

Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2008 Sep;24(3):203-9. doi: 10.1590/s1020-49892008000900007.


Violence is an important public health challenge with substantial economic consequences for the affected individuals, families, and communities. Using data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank, the economic value of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost due to violence in 2002 was estimated for WHO Member States and presented as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). Results indicated an estimated 48.4 million DALYs were lost as a result of 1.6 million deaths due to violence in 2002, for a total estimated economic value of US$ 151 billion (in constant US$ for the year 2000). Expressed as a percentage of GDP, the economic value of DALYs lost due to violence ranged from 0.04% to 5.1% across the 193 Member States. Much more is needed in terms of quantifying the economic burden of violence globally, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of violence is greatest.

MeSH terms

  • Cost of Illness*
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • World Health Organization*