Local School Shootings Hike Stress-Related ER Visits


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 school shootings and by California residents in zip-codes 10–15 miles from school shootings, both before and after these violent events.

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 mass shootings 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, PhD, of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, in Palo Alto.

URL upon publication: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/coep.12603

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