PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Higher lifetime rates of violence has an effect on the health status of older, African-American women, U.S. researchers said.
The study, published in the Journal of Women's Health, found significant differences reflecting poorer health for women who had reported high levels of family violence compared to those who reported low levels or no history of abuse. Unemployment was also found to be strongly associated with worse health status.
"Clinicians caring for older African-American women need to be cognizant of the role both current and prior violence exposure may play in their patients' current health status," study lead author Dr. Anuradha Paranjape of Temple University School of Medicine and Hospital said in a statement. "In general, there is a higher incidence of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, and more chronic pain syndromes."
Paranjape believes this is an issue for all older women.
"I have focused on African-American women because of my experiences as a busy clinician in downtown Atlanta and now at Temple, where most of my patients are African-American," Paranjape said. "This is an underserved community that experiences health disparities."