World military expenditures and global cardiovascular mortality

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Can we estimate the consequences of world military expenditures for the physical and mental health of nations that produce and purchase armaments? If anxiety and fear are promoting military expenditures, then those sentiments may well reflect poorer mental health and war-related stress as it influences cardiovascular illness rates. Further, extensive military expenditure by a society implies that other societal needs are allocated fewer resources, including nutrition, water and sanitation, health care, and economic development. We use a model focused on military expenditures to predict cardiovascular mortality in world samples of industrialized and developing countries over 2000-2011. The cardiovascular mortality model controls for economic development, smoking, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, and carbon dioxide emissions. Military expenditures as proportion of gross domestic product show significant positive relations to cardiovascular disease mortality in linear multiple regression analyses, using both cross-sectional and pooled cross-sectional time-series approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-35
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Public Health Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • anxiety
  • cardiovascular mortality
  • depression
  • hostility
  • military expenditures
  • opportunity costs


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