Sexual Assault, Harassment Linked to Girls’s Excessive Blood Stress

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Experiencing sexual assault or office sexual harassment will increase the danger of hypertension in ladies, a brand new examine suggests. 

The examine, revealed Tuesday within the Journal of the American Coronary heart Affiliation, checked out knowledge from the Nurses’ Well being Research II, an ongoing cohort examine which began enrolling ladies in 1989. Over seven years, ladies who skilled sexual assault and office sexual harassment have been 21% extra prone to develop hypertension than those that did not expertise both, researchers discovered. 

Those that have been sexually harassed at work have been 15% extra prone to have hypertension, whereas those that have been sexually assaulted have been 11% extra prone to develop hypertension, the examine discovered. 

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Twenty-three % of ladies within the examine have been sexually assaulted, 12% have been sexually harassed at work and 6% skilled each. In response to the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, one in three ladies has skilled sexual violence involving bodily touching, whereas one in 4 males have had related experiences. 

People who find themselves homosexual, lesbian and bisexual may be at increased danger of sexual assault, in addition to different populations, together with adults with developmental disabilities. 

A limitation of the hypertension examine was that it checked out knowledge from ladies who share the identical career (nursing), nearly all of whom have been white. Notably, nevertheless, the examine accounted for different kinds of trauma exterior sexual assault, strengthening the hyperlink between sexual trauma and hypertension. 

“This examine highlights why it is necessary for well being analysis to look at ladies’s experiences of sexual assault and office sexual harassment,” Laura Rowland, a program chief within the Division of Translational Analysis on the Nationwide Institute of Psychological Well being, stated in an NIH information launch.

“Future analysis can construct on these findings to find out whether or not sexual violence and hypertension are causally linked and establish doable underlying mechanisms,” she stated.

The wellness toll of sexual assault 

Having hypertension will increase your danger of coronary heart illness and stroke — two main causes of loss of life within the US, in keeping with the CDC. However the latest examine is not the one one to display the impression of sexual assault on well being and wellness.

Each short- and long-term well being penalties have been related to sexual assault, together with issues with sleep and psychological well being points. 

Survivors of sexual assault may be extra prone to expertise post-traumatic stress dysfunction, which itself has been linked to different well being issues, together with cognitive decline.

The data contained on this article is for academic and informational functions solely and isn’t supposed as well being or medical recommendation. At all times seek the advice of a doctor or different certified well being supplier relating to any questions you might have a couple of medical situation or well being goals.

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