Trauma may up heart disease risk in lesbians, bisexual women


Lesbian and bisexual women are more at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases possibly due to trauma caused by abuse and neglect, according to a research.

Sexual minority – lesbian and bisexual women – are more likely than heterosexual women to be stressed, use tobacco, binge drink, and be obese.

The study, led by researchers from the Columbia University, showed that sexual minority women with increased severity of childhood, adulthood, or lifetime trauma had higher risk for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a perception of less social support. Childhood trauma led to overeating by nearly 50 per cent.

These increased their risks of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, the researchers said.

The results were presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Chicago. For the study, the team examined 547 sexual minority women.

They measured 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.

They found that women were 30 per cent more likely to suffer from anxiety, if they experienced any forms of adulthood trauma and 41 per cent more likely to be depressed if they faced childhood trauma.

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