About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER

Link Between Sexual Abuse and Atherosclerosis Identified

by Sheela Philomena on July 18, 2014 at 11:31 AM
Font : A-A+

 Link Between Sexual Abuse and Atherosclerosis Identified

A new study published in Stroke finds women who are sexually abused as children show signs of atherosclerosis in midlife. Atherosclerosis is an early indication of cardiovascular disease. This is the first study to suggest a link between sexual abuse and higher carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) - thickening of the inner lining of the arteries that may indicate early atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis can lead to heart disease and other forms of cardiovascular disease. The carotid artery supplies oxygenated blood to the head and neck, and its thickness is measured using non-invasive ultrasound. The study of 1,400 Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic and Chinese women 42-52 years old found that those with a history of childhood sexual abuse had higher carotid artery IMT at midlife than those without a history of abuse. The link between childhood abuse and IMT was not explained by standard cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as blood pressure, lipids, and body mass.


Researchers also found:

About 16 percent of the women reported a history of childhood sexual abuse, across all racial groups, with the abuse as high as 20 percent among African-Americans.
A history of childhood sexual abuse, but not childhood physical abuse, was related to higher IMT.

"These study findings indicate the importance of considering early life stressors on women's later cardiovascular health," said Rebecca C. Thurston, Ph.D., study lead author and associate professor of psychiatry, psychology, epidemiology and clinical and translational science and director of the Women's Behavioral and Health Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. "Awareness of the long-term mental and physical consequences of sexual abuse in childhood needs to be heightened nationally, particularly among women and health professionals." Researchers began their work in 1996, drawing participants from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN), a study in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Newark, Pittsburgh and Oakland.

The women transitioning through menopause were questioned about childhood and adult physical and sexual abuse and for a range of well-established heart disease risk factors. Researchers analyzed the women annually for the next dozen years. At the 12th visit, they underwent carotid artery ultrasound to detect carotid IMT and carotid artery plaque. "Women who have a history of childhood sexual abuse should report it to their physicians and healthcare providers," Thurston said. "If physicians are able, they should ask about child abuse. Considering child abuse can be important in understanding a woman's cardiovascular risk." Psychosocial factors are important to the development of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death among women in the United States, researchers said. Thurston plans to continue the study and to research the effect of violence against women and the development of heart disease.

Source: Eurekalert

News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Is COVID-19 Vaccination during Pregnancy Safe?
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cholesterol Heart Attack Prostitution: Fresh Stakes in the Oldest Trade Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical Sex Addiction Chemical Castration Atherosclerosis Aortic Dissection Renal Artery Stenosis Cholesteryl Ester Storage Disease 

Recommended Reading
Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is a condition in which the arteries become hard and narrow, leading to restricted ....
An Active Heart - Animation
The heart pumps blood constantly providing the power to sustain life....
Pacemaker Could be Replaced With a Gene Injected into Heart
Injecting a certain gene into cardiac muscle has shown to help a weakened heart beat more strongly ....
Aortic Dissection
Aortic dissection refers to a serious condition where there is a tear in the wall of a major artery ...
Chemical Castration
Chemical castration is a procedure wherein medications are administered to reduce testosterone level...
Cholesterol
Cholesterol is produced by the body (liver) and is essential for normal body functioning....
Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical
The word 'Cholesterol' rings danger bells as soon as it is mentioned. This important chemical is im...
Cholesteryl Ester Storage Disease
Cholesteryl ester storage disease (CESD) is a rare inherited disease that results from the accumulat...
Heart Attack
Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Heart disease is the lead...
Prostitution: Fresh Stakes in the Oldest Trade
Prostitution has broadened its base to include street prostitution, massage brothels, gigolo outcall...
Renal Artery Stenosis
Renal artery stenosis (RAS) is the narrowing of one or both arteries carrying blood to the kidneys....
Sex Addiction
Is sex addiction a malady that can be treated or is it only an excuse for celebrity romps?...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use