Domestic Violence and Disease

Intimate Partner Violence Linked to Chronic Conditions and Health Risks

domestic violence Domestic violence is associated with a variety of chronic conditions and risky behavior, according to a study in the US Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

A 2005 telephone survey of 70,000 adults found that 24% of women and 12% of men reported they had been victims of intimate partner violence.

Male victims were significantly more likely than other men to have

  • arthritis,
  • asthma,
  • activity limitations, and
  • stroke, as well as
  • use disability equipment,
  • smoke,
  • drink alcohol heavily, and
  • engage in risky sex.

In addition to all of these, female victims were also more likely than other women to have

  • hypertension,
  • heart attacks, and
  • heart disease.

An editorial note recommends that doctors consider the possibility of domestic violence when patients show signs of stress or other conditions consistent with intimate partner violence. “Such assessment might influence the diagnosis, treatment plan, and ability of the patient to adhere to treatment,” it says.

Professional healthcare workers may wish to read the report at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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