A new study reports that lesbian and bisexual women undergoing trauma including abuse and neglect suffer from a higher cardiovascular disease.
The findings presented at the American Heart Association revealed that sexual minority women with increased severity of childhood, adulthood or lifetime trauma had a higher risk of post traumatic stress disorder and a perception of less social support.
Sexual minority (lesbian and bisexual) women are more likely than heterosexual women to be stressed, use tobacco, binge drink and be obese.
The authors studied 547 sexual minority women, measuring three forms of childhood trauma: physical abuse, sexual abuse, and parental neglect; three forms of adult trauma: physical abuse, sexual abuse, and intimate partner violence; and lifetime trauma, which was the sum of childhood and adulthood trauma. They analyzed how increasing trauma severity was associated with higher report of several cardiovascular risk factors.
The key study findings included are:
- 30 percent more likely to have anxiety if they experienced more forms of adulthood trauma.
- 41 percent more likely to be depressed if they reported increased forms of childhood trauma and 22 percent more likely to be depressed if they had experienced more forms of lifetime trauma.
- 44 percent more likely to report overeating in the past three months if they experienced increased forms of childhood trauma.
- 58 percent more likely to have diabetes if they experienced the increasing severity of childhood trauma, and lifetime trauma notably increased their risks of obesity and high blood pressure.
“These findings suggest healthcare providers should screen for trauma as a cardiovascular disease risk factor in this population,” write the authors.
For reference log on to American Heart Association