Sexual Harassment, Assault Tied to Excessive Blood Stress in Girls


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

Hypertension is a significant danger issue for coronary heart illness, which is the main killer of U.S. girls, accounting for one in three deaths.

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

“Lowering sexual violence towards girls, which is essential in its personal proper, may present a method for enhancing girls’s lifetime cardiovascular well being,” mentioned research creator 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 girls (common age 53) in an ongoing U.S. well being research.

Firstly, 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 chance of hypertension was 21% larger amongst girls who had skilled each; 15% larger amongst those that skilled office sexual harassment; and 11% larger amongst sexual assault victims.

The findings have been revealed 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 frequent, and that girls are disproportionately victims of such violence, with 13% to 44% of ladies reporting sexual assault and as much as 80% of ladies reporting office sexual harassment,” Garden mentioned in a journal information launch. “Nevertheless, publicity to sexual violence shouldn’t be well known as a contributor to girls’s cardiovascular well being.”

The researchers discovered no elevated danger of hypertension amongst girls who had a historical past of different kinds of trauma and never sexual violence. That implies that elevated hypertension danger 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 girls’s long-term well being,” Garden mentioned.

Extra info

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

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

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