Sexual Harassment, Assault Tied to High Blood Pressure in Women

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

High blood pressure is a serious danger 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 danger components for coronary heart illness, however these findings recommend that screening for them may benefit ladies’s heart health.

“Decreasing sexual violence in opposition to ladies, which is vital in its personal proper, can also present a technique for bettering ladies’s lifetime cardiovascular well being,” mentioned research writer Rebecca Garden, a postdoctoral researcher on the Harvard T.H. Chan Faculty of Public Well being in Boston.

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

At the beginning, none had a historical past of hypertension. However about one in 5 had developed hypertension by the top 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% 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 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 ladies 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 mentioned in a journal information launch. “Nevertheless, publicity to sexual violence shouldn’t be well known as a contributor to ladies’s cardiovascular well being.”

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

“These outcomes recommend 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 useful for girls’s long-term well being,” Garden mentioned.

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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