December 23/30, 1998

Violence, a Neglected Epidemic: Call for Papers

Author Affiliations

Ms Flanagin (e-mail: Annette_Flanagin@ama-assn.org) is Associate Senior Editor and Dr Cole (e-mail: Thomas_Cole@ama-assn.org) is a Contributing Editor of JAMA.

JAMA. 1998;280(24):2121. doi:10.1001/jama.280.24.2121

Violence is a hazard to health and well-being and is now so recognized throughout the world by leaders in medicine and public health. The World Bank has attempted to quantify the global burden of disease, including violence-related conditions that negatively affect the state of the world's health (ie, automobile injuries, falls, homicide, suicide, and war),13 although such quantifications have incited criticism and controversy. Leading medical and public health agencies, including the World Health Organization, the Institute of Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have declared violence a public health priority, and leading medical journals commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by publishing many articles on the health effects of violence.46 Thus, violence can shed its defensive mantle—it no longer deserves to hide behind the common appellations "controversial public health issue" or "unavoidable fact of life." Violence must be recognized as a neglected epidemic that soon may surpass infectious disease as the principal cause of morbidity and premature mortality worldwide.7

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