According to a new study, sexual assault has a long-term impact on women’s mental health.
Sexual assault has been shown to have a negative impact on a woman’s physical and mental health. Researchers now believe that these traumatic events may have harmed her brain health.
Traumatic experiences, such as sexual violence, have been related to an increased risk of dementia, stroke, and other brain problems, according to a new study.
Dr. Stephanie Faubion, medical director of the North American Menopause Society, said, “Identifying early warning signals of stroke and dementia is crucial to delivering effective care.”
In a society news release, she noted, “Studies like this one provide essential information on the long-term effects of traumatic experiences on a woman’s general well-being and mental health.” Faubion was not a part of the new study.
The researchers at the University of Pittsburgh wanted to see if traumatic experiences were linked to so-called white matter hyperintensities, or WMHs.
These brain small artery disease markers can be used to detect dementia, stroke, and other illnesses early on. Decades before the onset of these illnesses, they can be detected.
The study included 150 women in their forties and fifties. Approximately 68 percent of the individuals had been through at least one traumatic event. Approximately 23% of the women had been sexually assaulted.
Women who had been exposed to trauma had more WMH volume than women who had not been exposed to trauma. The study discovered that sexual assault was substantially linked to WMH.
Even after controlling for depressed or post-traumatic stress symptoms, the researchers discovered that the links between sexual assault and WMHs remained. This shows that sexual assault may increase the likelihood of poor brain health in women.
“The findings of this study are notable in that sexual assault is a sad, yet all-too-common, experience for women,” says the author. According to national data, up to a third of women have experienced this, according to research co-author Dr. Rebecca Thurston of the University of Pittsburgh.
“Not only is this upsetting experience vital for women’s emotional health, but it is also important for their brain health. “This research is a significant step toward finding an unique risk factor for stroke and dementia in women,” she said.
“Not only do these findings highlight the need for increased sexual assault prevention, but they also give health care practitioners with another signal of who may be at greatest risk for stroke and dementia later in life,” Thurston added.
Traumatic situations, such as sexual assault, have been related to poor mental and cardiovascular health in the past… Article Summary from Nokia News