By  for The Guardian. Mexico’s drug war violence became so acute during the government’s militarised crackdown on organised crime that it caused male life expectancy rates to drop by an average of several months, reversing a decade’s worth of public health improvements, a new study has shown.

As violence worsened between 2005 and 2010, life expectancy rates fell in all of Mexico’s 31 states, including regions perceived to have escaped the conflict, according to the study published on Tuesday in the journal Health Affairs.

Life expectancy fell by as much as three years in Chihuahua state, which includes Ciudad Juárez – once considered the murder capital of the world. But states not nearly as affected by violence such as Oaxaca and Tlaxcala also saw declines of six months.

The drop in life expectancy coincides with a period of escalating violence between rival cartels, and then president Felipe Calderón’s 2006 decision to deploy federal forces against the traffickers.

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