Association of sexual harassment and sexual assault with midlife women’s mental and physical health

JAMA Jan 12, 2019

Thurston RC, et al. - Researchers assessed if women with a history of sexual harassment or sexual assault have higher blood pressure, greater depression and anxiety, and poorer sleep vs women without this experience. They enrolled 304 nonsmoking women without cardiovascular disease from the community to have physical measurements (blood pressure, height, weight), medical history, and psychosocial assessments (workplace sexual harassment, sexual assault, depression, anxiety, sleep) taken. Of these women, 19% reported experiencing workplace sexual harassment and 22% reported experiencing sexual assault. Women who experienced workplace sexual harassment reported significantly higher odds of hypertension and clinically poor sleep; sexual assault was associated with clinically higher depressive symptoms and anxiety as well as poor sleep vs those without this history, after adjusting for covariates.

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