War is generally defined as armed conflict conducted by nation-states. The term is also used to denote armed action by a group within a nation against governmental or occupying forces; such armed actions are often termed civil wars, wars of liberation, or revolutionary wars. This entry examines the physical and psychological impact of war, terrorism, and other forms of armed violence, and the role that epidemiology can play in understanding and preventing violence.

War accounts for more death and disability than many major diseases. War destroys families, communities, and sometimes entire nations and cultures. War siphons limited resources away from health and other human services and damages the infrastructure that supports health. War violates human rights. The mindset of war—that violence is the best way to ...

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