Morbidity and Mortality Associated with Disasters

  • Michele M. WoodEmail author
  • Linda B. Bourque
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


This chapter provides an overview of morbidity and mortality trends associated with a wide range of disasters, including physical as well as mental health effects, that have been documented within and beyond the U.S. The chapter begins with an introduction to morbidity, mortality, and related concepts within the disciplines of public health and epidemiology. The chapter then provides an overview of social vulnerability to disaster morbidity and mortality, which provides a useful lens for understanding and interpreting patterns. Next, morbidity and mortality findings for each of a variety of hazard types are presented, along with data from specific disaster events. Finally, the chapter considers the case of psychological injury and other mental health effects of disasters, followed by a brief discussion of methodological concerns. Concluding remarks summarize overall trends and patterns in disaster related death and injury, and outline future research needs.


Disaster epidemiology Social vulnerability Psychological injury 



The authors thank Judith Siegel and Megumi Kano for their contributions to a previous version of this chapter.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California State UniversityFullertonUSA
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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