Health Care Costs of Violence in Pennsylvania



Violence captures our attention like few other human events. Accounts of murder, assault, and rape are a regular staple of newspaper and television reports; often the lead story. Violence is also a common element of mass entertainment via television or the cinema. As one result, a common perception is that the issue of violence is a growing problem in the United States.

Statistics on the frequency of crime in the early 1990s found that this was true, particularly amongst juveniles. More recently, though, data indicate a decline in crime-related violence (1). Still, the impact of violence is sizeable. Over 2 million Americans are victims of violent injury each year from crime (2), and the United States ranks first in the developed world in violent death rates (3). Many professionals now believe that violence is preventable, and is no longer an inevitable experience . Several national objectives have been established in an effort to reduce the frequency and impact of violence.


The objective of this report is to systematically identify the relative frequency of violence in Pennsylvania, and to estimate the health care costs related to it. This information serves two purposes; (a) it identifies the impact of violence on the h ealth care system in Pennsylvania, and (b) it provides information of relevance to the evaluation of violence prevention programs. An abstract of the findings of the report is listed below.




A copy of this report is available here in PDF format. It requires the use of the Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can download a copy of the Acrobat Reader for free at the button posted here.


Document: Health Care Costs Associated with Violence in Pennsylvania




  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Uniform Crime Report Data, various years. See
  2. Understanding and Preventing Violence. National Research Council. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 1993.
  3. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC. Rates of Homicide, Suicide, and Firearm-Related Death among Children-26 Industrialized Countries. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 46(5):101-105, 1997.


Other violence report links:


For further information about the report, please contact Thomas Songer at
Thomas Songer, PhD, Dept. of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA