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Friday, November 18, 2011

Abuse Early in Life Linked to Cardiovascular Risk

And what does this say about biomarkers?
Women who suffer either physical or sexual abuse early in life have a significantly increased risk for subsequent cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction and stroke, a new study suggests.

The study, using data from the Nurses' Health Study II, shows that women who reported they had experienced forced sexual activity during childhood or adolescence had a greater than 50% increased risk for cardiovascular disease. The relationship with physical abuse was significant but less robust, the authors note, and will have to be confirmed in other data sets.

This is the third study to show that forced sex among girls is linked with at least a 50% increase in cardiovascular event risk, lead author Janet Rich-Edwards, ScD, MPH, associate professor in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, said at a press conference here. The relationship was only partially explained by traditional cardiovascular risk factors.

"The consistency of the sexual abuse studies suggests that we continue our abuse prevention efforts in childhood, and that we also develop specific cardiovascular disease prevention strategies tailored to the needs of women who've experienced abuse in childhood," Dr. Rich-Edwards concluded.
Maybe they need to be reevaluated.

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