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High blood pressure risk higher among veterans who experienced sexual trauma while serving

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According to a preliminary study released today by the American Heart Association, veterans who experience sexual harassment or assault during military service are known as military sexual trauma and are at increased risk of high blood pressure. Hypertension Science Session 2021.. The conference is the premier scientific exchange focusing on recent advances in basic and clinical research on the relationship between hypertension and its heart and kidney disease, stroke, obesity and genetics, effectively 2021 9 It will be held from 27th to 29th of March.

A study evaluating the United States Military service members are, Traumatic event Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. According to the American Heart Association, almost half of adults in the United States have high blood pressureIt is defined as systolic blood pressure above 130 mm Hg (top value of blood pressure measurement), or diastolic blood pressure above 80 mm Hg (bottom value).

Military sexual trauma is becoming more and more civilian health concern.Veterans, especially women, are three times more likely to experience sexual harassment Assault compared to people who are not in the army. Past studies have reported that more than 38% of women experience military sexual trauma, compared to about 4% of men.

“We found that exposure to military sexual trauma was independently associated with the risk of hypertension in veterans after 9/11, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, or veterans who worked during New Dawn surgery. I tried to determine if it was, “said lead research author Allison E. Gaffey, Ph.D., a research psychologist in the Department of Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, and a research psychologist in women’s health and cardiovascular medicine at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System. US Veterans Affairs Office in West Haven, Connecticut.

In this study, researchers used a national dataset of electronic health records from the 1.2 million Veterans Health Department, who were discharged from the US military after October 1, 2001. Health care service From 2001 to 2017 at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. These young and middle-aged veterans (mean age 30 years, 12% female) were screened for military sexual trauma when they began receiving treatment from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Throughout the 16-year record reviewed, nearly 33,900 veterans reported military sexual trauma, 65% of whom were women.

Researchers found:

  • Over 307,330 veterans have been developed High blood pressure (Defined as systolic blood pressure of 130 mm Hg or higher), the probability of developing hypertension was about 31%.
  • Veterans with a history of military sexual trauma have shown a 30% increased risk of hypertension compared to veterans who did not report military sexual trauma.
  • Military sexual trauma is a risk of hypertension after considering other factors such as demographics, smoking and substance abuse, other health conditions such as diabetes, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress such as PTSD. Was 10% higher overall.
  • When men and women were examined separately, the association between military sexual trauma and the risk of hypertension remained in both groups, but was slightly stronger among women (male risk 4%, female risk). The risk is 10%).

“Military sexual trauma is a pervasive problem. These findings show that exposure to military sexual trauma has a significant impact on the health of veterans, years after being discharged from military service. It shows that we have the potential to continue, “Gaffey said. “This association of military sexual trauma or other traumatic stress to receive appropriate care, support, and resources to manage short-term and long-term effects on mental and physical health. It demonstrates the importance of screening and disclosure. “

Studies suggest that more research is needed to determine whether early detection of military sexual trauma improves risk management for cardiovascular disease. “It is important to educate patients and health care providers and raise awareness of these connections, and ultimately to improve the prevention of military sexual trauma,” said Gaffey.

She suggests that medical professionals are aware that patients with a history of military sexual or other trauma exposure, especially women, may be at increased cardiovascular risk. ..

“Unwanted sexual contact and sexual assault in the workplace is not limited to the military environment. Therefore, non-veteran health care providers should use these when caring for non-veterans with a history of sexual trauma. May consider the importance of the discovery, “Gaffy said.

Survey results may vary between older veterans and groups with a higher proportion of women, as the limits of the survey included mostly young, veterans since 9/11, and only 12% of those surveyed were women. There is sex.

“Previous studies have shown that women are about 10 times more likely to report military sexual trauma than men, which adversely affects military sexual trauma, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular health. The association can be different for women and men, “Gaffey said. “Links between sexual history trauma Cardiovascular risk is also with men woman No military service history ”


Many female veterans suffering from a history of sexual assault


For more information:
meeting: Professional.heart.org/en/meetings/hypertension

Quote: The risk of hypertension in veterans (September 27, 2021) who experienced sexual trauma during service is https: //medicalxpress.com/news/2021-09-high-blood-pressure-higher-veterans.html Obtained from September 27, 2021.

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