Incidence of cardiovascular disease and exposures in wartime, Beirut 1984-1994

Mary Deeb, American University of Beirut
Haroutune Armenian, Johns Hopkins University

To assess the relation of increased morbidity to exposure of wartime events in Lebanon, which underwent a 16-year civil war. This study benefits from a data set rich in socio-demographic and health behaviour characteristics as well as the availability of information on the same individual after a ten-year period. The authors conducted a prospective study and a nested case-control analysis of incident morbidity. The results show an association between exposure to war events and incidence of hypertension and heart diseases. In addition, the results show a significant contribution of cumulative exposure to war events with a three-fold increase in the risk of incident heart disease among individuals exposed to two or more war events when compared to individuals exposed to none. These results suggest that, more research is necessary to investigate stress-relieving mechanisms for individuals who have been exposed to war events and monitor the long-term effect of war stressors.

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Presented in Session 118: The demography of conflict and violence