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Towards a Public Health Approach to Homicides in Mexico

17 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2021

See all articles by Andrea Luviano

Andrea Luviano

Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE)

Hawre Jalal

University of Pittsburgh - Department of Health Policy and Management

Alfonso Miranda

Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE) - Division of Economics

Alejandro Madrazo

Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE)

Michael Reich

Harvard University - Department of Global Health and Population

Fernando Alarid-Escudero

Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE) - Division of Public Administration

More...

Abstract

Background: Homicide was the fifth cause of death in Mexico in 2019 and has been among the top ten causes of death since 2009. Despite its relevance, homicide has neither been considered a public health problem by health authorities nor has been a point of focus for the development of effective prevention strategies, compared to other leading and preventable causes of death. This study aims to establish homicide as a relevant public health problem in Mexico. 

Methods: We analyzed publicly available data in Mexico from 1998 to 2019 to calculate homicide rates and compare them to other causes of death stratified by age and sex. We also described the age, period, and cohort trends of homicides.

Findings: Homicide has been the leading cause of death for both sexes for several age groups since 2010, surpassing cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, cancer, and accidents. Since 2018, homicides have been the main cause of death for females 15 to 24 years old and the second cause of death for 25 to 34 years old. Males 25 to 34 years old experienced the highest homicide rates across all the study period, exceeding 1 per 1,000 in 2019.

Interpretation: Homicides are one of the major causes of death in Mexico and currently represent a national public health threat. This study reveals important patterns of homicide deaths that can inform national and regional public health policy.

Funding: This study was supported by grants from Open Society Foundations (OSF) and the Drug Policy Program at CIDE.

Declaration of Interests: FAE reports funds from Open Society Foundations (OSF) and the Drug Policy Program at CIDE. All authors declare no competing interests.

Suggested Citation

Luviano, Andrea and Jalal, Hawre and Miranda, Alfonso and Madrazo, Alejandro and Reich, Michael and Alarid-Escudero, Fernando, Towards a Public Health Approach to Homicides in Mexico. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3795313 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3795313

Andrea Luviano

Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE) ( email )

Circuito Tecnopolo Norte 117
Col. Tecnopolo Pocitos II
Aguascalientes, 20313
Mexico

Hawre Jalal

University of Pittsburgh - Department of Health Policy and Management ( email )

United States

Alfonso Miranda

Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE) - Division of Economics ( email )

Carretera Mexico Toluca 3655
01210 Mexico, D.F.
Mexico

Alejandro Madrazo

Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE)

Circuito Tecnopolo Norte 117
Col. Tecnopolo Pocitos II
Aguascalientes, 20313
Mexico

Michael Reich

Harvard University - Department of Global Health and Population ( email )

665 Huntington Avenue
Building 1, Suite 1202
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Fernando Alarid-Escudero (Contact Author)

Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE) - Division of Public Administration ( email )

Circuito Tecnopolo Norte 117
Col. Tecnopolo Pocitos II, Aguascalientes
Aguascalientes, 20313
Mexico
+52 (449) 994 5150 + 5238 (Phone)