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Traumatic Exposures & Health Issues in Older Women

JAMA Intern Med; ePub 2018 Nov 19; Gibson, et al

Among midlife and older women, lifetime history of intimate partner violence (IPV) or sexual assault and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common and may be associated with the development and experience of menopause symptoms. This according to a cross-sectional analysis of data from a multiethnic cohort of 2,016 women aged 40 to 80 years. The primary outcomes were difficulty sleeping, vasomotor symptoms, and vaginal symptoms, assessed with standardized questionnaires. Researchers found:

  • IPV, sexual assault, and symptoms of PTSD were common in the cohort.
  • Symptoms of PTSD were associated with difficult sleeping, vasomotor symptoms, night sweats, and vaginal symptoms.
  • Emotional IPV was associated with difficult sleeping, night sweats, and pain with intercourse.
  • Physical IPV was associated with night sweats.
  • Sexual assault was associated with vaginal symptoms.

Citation:

Gibson CJ, Huang AJ, McCaw B, Subak LL, Thom DH, Van Den Eeden SK. Associations of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and posttraumatic stress disorder with menopause symptoms among midlife and older women. [Published online ahead of print November 19, 2018]. JAMA Intern Med. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.5233.