Arch Iran Med. 2022;25(3): 182-190.
doi: 10.34172/aim.2022.31
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Systematic Review

Adverse Impacts of Imposing International Economic Sanctions on Health

Mohammad Hossein Asgardoon 1,2 ORCID logo, Mohammad Hosein ‎Amirzade‎-Iranaq 1,3 ORCID logo, Ahmad ‎ Mehri 4 ORCID logo, Seyed ‎Mohammad Piri 1, Parisa ‎ Jalali 1, Zahra ‎ Ghodsi 1, Hamid ‎Reza ‎Dehghan 5 ORCID logo, Vafa ‎Rahimi-‎Movaghar 1,6,7,8,9,10 ORCID logo, Payman ‎ Salamati 1* ORCID logo

1 Sina Trauma and Surgery Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Iranian Student Society for Immunodeficiencies, Students’ Scientific Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Universal Network of Interdisciplinary Research in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (UNIROMS), Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN), Tehran, Iran
4 Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
5 Research Center for Health Technology Assessment and Medical Informatics, School of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran
6 Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN), Tehran, Iran
7 Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, Neuroscience Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
8 Department of Neurosurgery, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
9 Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
10 Visiting Professor, Spine Program, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
*Corresponding Author: *Corresponding Author: Payman Salamati, MD; Sina Trauma and Surgery Research Center, Sina Hospital, Hassan Abad Square, Imam Khomeini Avenue, Tehran, Iran. Tel:+98-21-66757001-5; Fax:+98-21-66757009; Email: psalamati@tums.ac.ir, , Email: salamatip@gmail.com


Background: International economic sanctions (IES) influence a country’s economic development and the overall welfare of a nation’s population.

Methods: An electronic search of PubMed, Embase and Web of Science was conducted until July 31, 2019. Additionally, a list of references to related articles was reviewed. Key search terms were “Economics”, “Health”, “Sanction”, and their equivalents with no language or time restriction.

Results: Totally, 8624 records were identified of which 2869 duplicates were deleted. Finally, 24 papers met the inclusion criteria and were selected for drafting. The number of papers included for evaluating each factor included healthcare (n=16) and pharmaceutical industry (n=10). Nine and eight studies examined the effect of sanctions imposed on Iran and Iraq, respectively. France, Haiti, Serbia, Cuba, Syria, and other areas such as Africa were also evaluated. Sanctions lead to a decrease in immunization rates and government health care expenditures. Sanctions increase infant and under-five mortality rate, road traffic injuries and fatalities, severe malnutrition, infective diseases, neurologic and visual disorders, as well as shortage of medical or dental instruments and a variety of medicines. Sanctions have adverse impacts on female labor and are associated with disabling hospitals, dispersing medical workers, and facilities for radiation therapy.

Conclusion: The health status of sanctioned nations in terms of healthcare, and pharmaceutical industry was adversely affected in targeted countries.

Cite this article as: Asgardoon MH, Amirzade-Iranaq MH, Mehri A, Piri SM, Jalali P, Ghodsi Z, et al. Adverse impacts of imposing international economic sanctions on health. Arch Iran Med. 2022;25(3):182-190. doi: 10.34172/aim.2022.31
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Submitted: 09 Jun 2021
Revision: 14 Sep 2021
Accepted: 22 Sep 2021
ePublished: 01 Mar 2022
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