Topic: Violence and abuse

Intimate partner violence and cardiovascular risk in women: a population-based cohort study

Stene, L. E., Jacobsen, G. W., Dyb, G., Tverdal, A., & Schei, B. (2013). Intimate partner violence and cardiovascular risk in women: a population-based cohort study. Journal of Women's Health, 22(3), 250-258. doi:10.1089/jwh.2012.3920

Methods: A population-based cohort study of women aged 30–60 years was performed using cross-sectional data and clinical measurements from the Oslo Health Study (2000–2001) linked with prospective prescription records from the Norwegian Prescription Database (January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2009). We used age-standardized chi-square analyses to compare clinical characteristics by IPV cross-sectionally, and Cox proportional hazards regression to examine cardiovascular drug prescription prospectively.

Results: Our study included 5593 women without cardiovascular disease or drug use at baseline. Altogether 751 (13.4%) women disclosed IPV experiences: 415 (7.4%) physical and/or sexual IPV and 336 (6.0 %) psychological IPV alone. Cross-sectional analyses showed that women who reported physical and/or sexual IPV and psychological IPV alone were more often smokers compared with women who reported no IPV. Physical and/or sexual violence was associated with abdominal obesity, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and elevated triglycerides. The prospective analysis showed that women who reported physical and/or sexual IPV were more likely to receive antihypertensive medication: incidence rate ratios adjusted for age were 1.27 (95% confidence interval 1.02–1.58) and 1.36 (CI 1.09–1.70) after additional adjustment for education and systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respectively. No significant differences were found for cardiovascular drugs overall or lipid modifying drugs.

Conclusions: Our findings indicate that clinicians should assess the cardiovascular risk of women with a history of physical and/or sexual IPV, and consider including CVD prevention measures as part of their follow-up.

The Researchers