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Study: Women more likely to experience heart problems years after sexual assault

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Posted at 4:22 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 16:22:08-05

New research is showing how sexual assault can affect physical health later in life.

Researchers already had data on how sexual violence and trauma affect mental health, but this study is one of the few that looked at how it specifically affects the body over time.

The findings were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Experts at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health followed survivors seven years after they experienced sexual violence or sexual harassment at work.

Data showed female survivors were more likely to develop high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, than women who had never experienced trauma.

Researchers included women who had experienced workplace sexual harassment in their study because past studies have mostly focused on women who were abused by their partners.