Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Abused Girls at Greater Risk for Heart Disease as Adults: Study

Abused Girls at Greater Risk for Heart Disease as Adults: Study

11/14/11

SUNDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Girls who are severely physically and sexually abused may be at greater risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke as adults, according to a new study.

Researchers examined the link between abuse and heart disease and strokes among 67,100 women. Forced sexual activity during their childhood or teenage years was reported by 11 percent of the women, and 9 percent reported severe physical abuse.

Women who were repeatedly raped as children or teenagers were at 62 percent higher risk for heart disease. Meanwhile, women who suffered severe physical abuse as children or teens had a 45 percent increased risk for heart disease.

"The single biggest factor explaining the link between severe child abuse and adult cardiovascular disease was the tendency of abused girls to have gained more weight throughout adolescence and into adulthood," said the study's lead author, Janet Rich-Edwards, associate professor in the department of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, in a news release from the American Heart Association.

The research was to be presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Orlando.

Known risk factors for heart disease, such as obesity, smoking, diabetes and hypertension, however, accounted for just 40 percent of the association between the abuse the women suffered and heart disease. As a result, the researchers argued other factors, such as heightened stress among people with a history of abuse, could play an important role.

"Women who experience abuse need to take special care of their physical and emotional well-being to reduce their risk of chronic disease," noted Rich-Edwards. "Primary care health professionals need to consider childhood abuse histories of women as they transition into adulthood," she added.

To help prevent cardiovascular disease among women with a history of abuse, "we need to learn more about specific psychological, lifestyle and medical interventions to improve the health of abuse survivors," she said.

Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides more information on women's risk factors for heart disease.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse Hospital Appoints Chief Information Officer
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >