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Intimate Partner Violence Linked to Poorer Health Status

CDC estimates that 13 to 31 percent of women have experienced intimate partner violence

FRIDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Victims of intimate partner violence have poorer health status and more health risk behaviors than individuals who have not experienced intimate partner violence, according to an article published Feb. 8 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

M.C. Black, Ph.D., and M.J. Breiding, Ph.D., from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the CDC in Atlanta, analyzed data from the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey, a random-digit-dialed national telephone survey including 70,156 adult respondents, to investigate the prevalence of intimate partner violence and its association with adverse health conditions.

The prevalence of intimate partner violence varied with age and gender, ranging from 12.9 to 31.2 percent in women and 5.6 to 21.4 percent in men. After controlling for age, race/ethnicity, income and education, women who had experienced intimate partner violence reported significantly more health conditions and risk behaviors than women who had not experienced partner violence, excluding only diabetes, high blood pressure and overweight. Men who had experienced intimate partner violence also had significantly more comorbidities, including use of disability equipment, activity limitations, asthma, stroke and alcohol abuse.

"Whether intimate partner violence is followed by adverse health conditions or adverse health conditions lead to intimate partner violence, both are likely to affect the overall health of affected persons, suggesting that clinicians should consider assessing exposure to intimate partner violence when patients have signs or symptoms of stress or other conditions that are consistent with intimate partner violence," according to an accompanying editorial.

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