CDC Highlights Violence as a Public Health Issue

In addition to injury and death, violence results in other physical and mental health consequences, including health risk behaviors and chronic conditions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces a special issue of the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, with articles edited and co-authored by scientists in CDC’s Injury Center. The issue highlights violence as a public health issue and the role of health practitioners in prevention.

“As one of the top 10 leading causes of death for people ages 1 to 64 in the United States, violence affects each of us,” said Linda C. Degutis, director for CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “But no single organization can address violence alone: CDC’s work complements the work of many other sectors, including those of us in the clinical realm. Clinicians have responsibilities to their patients and to the community.”

Millions of violence-related injury cases are treated in emergency departments each year. In addition to injury and death, violence results in other physical and mental health consequences, including health risk behaviors and chronic conditions.

Health practitioners can play an active role in enhancing the health and safety of their patients by:

  • understanding the forms and health consequences of violence,
  • understanding the risk factors and warning signs for violence,
  • providing preventive services directly or, when appropriate, referring patients to preventive services in the community.

CDC recognizes that the health risks of violence and the burden placed on health systems and society highlights the need for prevention efforts in the health system to stop violence before it starts.

The September special issue of American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine is available free online for a limited time at http://ajl.sagepub.com/content/5/5.toc.

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