Sexual Harassment, Assault Tied to Excessive Blood Stress in Ladies

TUESDAY, Feb. 22, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Sexual assault and office sexual harassment could enhance ladies’s long-term threat of hypertension and coronary heart illness, a brand new examine suggests.

Hypertension is a serious threat issue for coronary heart illness, which is the main killer of U.S. ladies, accounting for one in three deaths.

Sexual violence or harassment aren’t acknowledged as threat elements for coronary heart illness, however these findings counsel that screening for them may benefit ladies’s coronary heart well being.

“Lowering sexual violence towards ladies, which is essential in its personal proper, can also present a method for enhancing ladies’s lifetime cardiovascular well being,” stated examine writer Rebecca Garden, a postdoctoral researcher on the Harvard T.H. Chan College of Public Well being in Boston.

Her group carried out a seven-year follow-up (2008 to 2015) of greater than 33,000 ladies (common age 53) in an ongoing U.S. well being examine.

In the beginning, none had a historical past of hypertension. However about one in 5 had developed hypertension by the tip of the follow-up.

The findings additionally confirmed that, of their lifetime, 23% of the ladies had been victims of sexual assault; 12% had skilled office sexual harassment; and 6% had skilled each.

In comparison with these with no historical past of sexual assault or harassment, the danger of hypertension was 21% increased amongst ladies who had skilled each; 15% increased amongst those that skilled office sexual harassment; and 11% increased amongst sexual assault victims.

The findings had been printed Feb. 22 within the Journal of the American Coronary heart Affiliation.

“We all know that experiences of sexual violence within the type of sexual assault and office sexual harassment are widespread, and that girls are disproportionately victims of such violence, with 13% to 44% of girls reporting sexual assault and as much as 80% of girls reporting office sexual harassment,” Garden stated in a journal information launch. “Nonetheless, publicity to sexual violence is just not widely known as a contributor to ladies’s cardiovascular well being.”

The researchers discovered no elevated threat of hypertension amongst ladies who had a historical past of different forms of trauma and never sexual violence. That implies that elevated hypertension threat doesn’t look like related to all trauma publicity, she added.

“These outcomes counsel that screening for a broader vary of experiences of sexual violence in routine well being care, together with sexual harassment within the office, in addition to verbal harassment or assault, and being conscious of and treating potential cardiovascular well being penalties could also be helpful for ladies’s long-term well being,” Garden stated.

Extra data

For extra on coronary heart illness and ladies, go to the U.S. Workplace on Ladies’s Well being.

SOURCE: Journal of the American Coronary heart Affiliation, information launch, Feb. 22, 2022

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