" .. New research shows that abuse victims feel the impact of violence long after it occurred. A recent study in the Journal of Women's Health found that older African-American women who were exposed to high levels of family violence at some point in their lifetimes -- whether by a partner or family member -- are at a greater risk of poor mental and physical health status.
"Not just ongoing violence, which everybody thinks about, but even when it's over, there's something about what happens that seems to have a lingering effect that we don't quite understand yet," said Dr. Anuradha Paranjape, co-author of the study and associate professor at Temple University School of Medicine.
It makes sense that abused women would report worse health, given that people in stressful situations have higher levels of stress hormones, which interfere with immune function, Crawford said.
Other studies show a clear connection between depression and abuse. Adult women who have been abused in a relationship in the past five years have rates of depression 2½ times greater than women who have never been abused, according to a different study of more than 3,000 women. They are also more likely to be socially isolated, said author Amy Bonomi, associate professor at The Ohio State University .. "
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