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J Health Econ. 2017 Mar 7;53:117-130. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2017.02.005. [Epub ahead of print]

War during childhood: The long run effects of warfare on health.

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1
Dalhousie University, Department of Economics, Halifax, NS, Canada. Electronic address: mevlude@dal.ca.

Abstract

This paper estimates the causal long-term consequences of an exposure to war in utero and during childhood on the risk of obesity and the probability of having a chronic health condition in adulthood. Using the plausibly exogenous city-by-cohort variation in the intensity of WWII destruction as a unique quasi-experiment, I find that individuals who were exposed to WWII destruction during the prenatal and early postnatal periods have higher BMIs and are more likely to be obese as adults. I also find an elevated incidence of chronic health conditions such as stroke, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorder in adulthood among these wartime children.

KEYWORDS:

Body size; Children; Health conditions; Warfare

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