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Do school shootings increase stress-related emergency department visits in local communities?

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Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

New research in Contemporary Economic Policy reveals that school shootings may worsen mental health in surrounding communities and increase health system costs.

For the study, investigators compared the number of stress-related emergency department visits by California residents in zip-codes within 5 miles of and by California residents in zip-codes 10–15 miles from school shootings, both before and after these .

Compared with before school shootings, exposure to school shootings and to fatal school shootings was associated with increases of 0.7 and 1.5 stress-related emergency department visits per 1,000 people in a zip-code annually, increases of 7% and 14%, respectively.

"Given the rise in school shootings and in recent years, our work reinforces calls to prevent gun violence as our findings point to previously unmeasured community-wide costs of shootings," said corresponding author Kritee Gujral, Ph.D., of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, in Palo Alto.

More information: Kritee Gujral et al, The community impact of school‐shootings on stress‐related emergency department visits, Contemporary Economic Policy (2023). DOI: 10.1111/coep.12603

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Citation: Do school shootings increase stress-related emergency department visits in local communities? (2023, March 8) retrieved 21 July 2024 from
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