Breaking News
January 24, 2019 - Good health literacy linked to better adherence to blood pressure medications among Hispanics
January 24, 2019 - Only a minority of patients in the U.S. with type 1 diabetes achieve treatment goals
January 24, 2019 - High fat reduces efficiency of the immune system to fight infectious disease
January 24, 2019 - Study highlights need for reliable therapeutic targets for prevention, treatment of cardiovascular diseases
January 24, 2019 - Next step toward replacement therapy in type 1 diabetes
January 24, 2019 - “Scientific serendipity” identifies link between type of RNA and autism
January 24, 2019 - Trump Zeroes In On Surprise Medical Bills In White House Chat With Patients, Experts
January 24, 2019 - Unique form of chronic sinusitis found in older patients
January 24, 2019 - NUS researchers make muscle recovery easier for patients with ingenious medical device
January 24, 2019 - Specific cognitive deficits found in individuals with spinal cord injury
January 24, 2019 - An essential reference for diagnostic ultrasonography and biopsy of the thyroid gland
January 24, 2019 - Proteus Digital Health Launches Digital Oncology Medicines to Improve Patient Outcomes
January 24, 2019 - Study looking to prevent type 1 diabetes follows children into adolescence
January 24, 2019 - Nice doctors make a difference
January 23, 2019 - Blood vessel discovery could advance our knowledge of osteoporosis
January 23, 2019 - New esophageal cancer test uses genetic biomarkers to detect changes in esophagal cells
January 23, 2019 - Study evaluates first-ever Robotic Visualization System for neurosurgery
January 23, 2019 - Scientists reveal new mechanism that could lead to specific treatment of strokes and seizures
January 23, 2019 - Both educational level and occupational orientation predict mother’s smoking during pregnancy
January 23, 2019 - How to (gently) get your child to brush their teeth
January 23, 2019 - Short-term hospital readmissions for gun injuries cost $86 million a year | News Center
January 23, 2019 - New certified reference material for testing residual solvents in cannabis
January 23, 2019 - Gene-edited chickens could prevent future flu pandemic
January 23, 2019 - Cardiovascular disease risk begins even before birth
January 23, 2019 - Younger patients receiving kidney transplant more likely to live longer, shows data
January 23, 2019 - Skin samples hold early signs of prion disease, research suggests
January 23, 2019 - Researchers discover how body initiates repair mechanisms that limits damage to myelin sheath
January 23, 2019 - Fecal transplant from certain donors better than others
January 23, 2019 - Risk for Uninsurance in AMI Patients Reduced With Medicaid Expansion
January 23, 2019 - Readmissions reduction program may be associated with increase in patient-level mortality
January 23, 2019 - Fostering translation and communication in medicine and beyond
January 23, 2019 - To Fight Fatty Liver, Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks
January 23, 2019 - TPU scientists develop new implants that double the rate of bone lengthening in kids
January 23, 2019 - New sessions at Pittcon 2019
January 23, 2019 - Insilico to present latest findings in AI for Drug Discovery at 3rd Annual SABPA FTD Forum
January 23, 2019 - Opioid overdose patients can be safely discharged an hour after administration of naloxone
January 23, 2019 - Scientists find bacterial extracellular vesicles in human blood
January 23, 2019 - Researchers use modified type of flu virus to develop new therapies for prostate cancer
January 23, 2019 - Researchers gain new insights into development of necrotizing enterocolitis in preemies
January 23, 2019 - Medical expert advises people with epilepsy not to stockpile medicines
January 23, 2019 - CDC study explores link between smoking and clinical outcomes of assisted reproductive technology
January 23, 2019 - Study outlines research priorities for improving pediatric patient care and safety
January 23, 2019 - Bedfont to exhibit NObreath FeNO monitor at Arab Health 2019
January 23, 2019 - Nicotinamide riboside supplementation confers significant physiological benefits to mothers and offspring
January 23, 2019 - Increasing temperatures may help preserve crop nutrition
January 23, 2019 - Many Oncologists in the Dark About LGBTQ Health Needs
January 23, 2019 - Epigenetic change causes fruit fly babies to inherit diet-induced heart disease
January 23, 2019 - Erasing memories could reduce relapse rates among drug addicts
January 23, 2019 - African Americans who smoke cigarettes are more likely to develop peripheral artery disease
January 23, 2019 - Unique data combination helps FinnGen researchers to fund links between genetic factors and health
January 23, 2019 - Parents’ mental health problems associated with reactive attachment disorder in children
January 23, 2019 - Graphene Flagship project studies impact of graphene and related materials on our health
January 23, 2019 - The connection between the Pope and contraceptive pills
January 23, 2019 - Prior dengue infection could protect children from symptomatic Zika
January 23, 2019 - Previous dengue virus infection associated with protection from symptomatic Zika
January 23, 2019 - VISTA checkpoint implicated in pancreatic cancer immunotherapy resistance
January 23, 2019 - The Tiny Camera That Could Revolutionize Cardiovascular Surgery
January 23, 2019 - Peptide isolated from soil fungi has antitumor and antibacterial properties
January 23, 2019 - TGen identifies polio-like virus as potential cause of Acute Flaccid Myelitis outbreak
January 23, 2019 - Migrants and refugees do not bring disease and are at greater health risk themselves says WHO
January 23, 2019 - Examing the effects of menopause in workplace
January 23, 2019 - Enemy number 1 – Air pollution and climate change top of WHO agenda
January 23, 2019 - Two Positive Phase III studies of Tafenoquine for the Radical Cure of Plasmodium vivax Malaria Published in The New England Journal of Medicine
January 23, 2019 - World Trade Center responders at increased risk for head and neck cancers
January 23, 2019 - Low-sugar diet leads to significant improvement in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in boys
January 23, 2019 - Chaos in bodily regulation can optimize our immune system, finds study
January 23, 2019 - Short, text-based exercises can increase happiness for adults recovering from substance use disorders
January 23, 2019 - Body size may have greater influence on women’s lifespan than men
January 23, 2019 - Groundbreaking tool helps visualize neuronal activity with near-infrared light
January 23, 2019 - Prior dengue immunity in children may be protective against symptomatic Zika
January 23, 2019 - Holocaust survivors with PTSD and their offspring exhibit more unhealthy behavior patterns
January 23, 2019 - Scientists discover new genetic mutations causing inherited deaf-blindness
January 23, 2019 - UC team designs new naloxone-dispensing smart device
January 23, 2019 - Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Losartan Potassium Tablets, USP and Losartan Potassium and Hydrochlorothiazide Tablets, USP
January 23, 2019 - Brain activity shows development of visual sensitivity in autism
January 23, 2019 - Two hour gap between dinner and sleep is overrated says Japanese research
January 23, 2019 - Fear and embarrassment are causing smear test numbers to plummet
January 23, 2019 - Protein-secreting device implanted in epileptic rats reduces seizures, improves cognition
January 23, 2019 - Reintroduction project recovers current wild population of green turtle in Cayman Islands
January 23, 2019 - Cancer survivors face greater financial burden related to medical bills
Sexual harassment and assault linked to worse physical/mental health among midlife women

Sexual harassment and assault linked to worse physical/mental health among midlife women

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A new study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine suggests that experiences of sexual harassment and sexual assault could have a significant impact on the physical and mental health of midlife women. Study results, published today in JAMA Internal Medicine, also will be presented at the North American Menopause Society meeting on Friday, Oct 5 2018 in San Diego, CA.

“When it comes to sexual harassment or sexual assault, our study shows that lived experiences may have a serious impact on women’s health, both mental and physical,” said Rebecca Thurston, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, Pitt School of Medicine and the study’s first and senior author. “This is an issue that needs to be tackled with urgency not just in terms of treatment but in terms of prevention.”

Sexual harassment and sexual assault are highly prevalent experiences among women. An estimated 40—75 percent of women in the United States have experienced workplace sexual harassment and more than 1 in 3 women have experienced sexual assault. While both have been linked to poorer health outcomes, previous studies have predominantly used self-reported parameters, which could be biased by mood, memory and health literacy, or these studies have not taken into account factors such as socioeconomic status or medication use.

In the current study, Thurston and her colleagues analyzed the association between a history of sexual assault or workplace verbal or physical sexual harassment and physical and mental health parameters such as blood pressure, sleep, mood and anxiety. The analysis was conducted among a group of 304 midlife women between the ages of 40 and 60 who were originally recruited as part of a larger study on association between menopause and cardiovascular health.

In the study group, approximately one in five women reported being either sexually harassed or sexually assaulted. Women who were younger or more financially stressed were more likely to be harassed.

Importantly, the study found that assaulted women were almost three times more likely to have symptoms consistent with major depression and were more than two times more likely to have elevated anxiety. Sexual harassment was associated with higher prevalence of hypertension. Both sexual harassment and sexual assault were associated with a two-fold higher likelihood of poor sleep consistent with clinical insomnia. The associations held true even when demographics, socioeconomic status, medication use and medical history were taken into account. Poor sleep, depression and anxiety are themselves associated with poorer health outcomes, according to the authors.

“We know that sexual harassment and assault are prevalent in our society and can cause significant harm,” said Thurston. “If you are a health care provider, recognize that these experiences can have implications for your patient’s health. If you are a victim of assault or harassment, don’t suffer through it. Get help. If you can, change the situation or remove yourself from it.”

Thurston and her colleagues note that the study could be expanded and strengthened by implementing more comprehensive measurement of harassment and assault and increasing the number and diversity of participants.


Explore further:
Sexual harassment and assault take long-term toll on women’s health

More information:
JAMA Internal Medicine (2018). jamanetwork.com/journals/jamai … ainternmed.2018.4886

JAMA Internal Medicine (2018). jamanetwork.com/journals/jamai … ainternmed.2018.4859

Journal reference:
JAMA Internal Medicine

Provided by:
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles