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Domestic Abuse Increases Risk for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue

Last Updated: December 16, 2019.

There is an association between a history of intimate partner violence and the development of functional syndromes, including fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, in women, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There is an association between a history of intimate partner violence (IPV) and the development of functional syndromes, including fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), in women, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Joht Singh Chandan, from University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues investigated the association between exposure to IPV and functional syndromes (fibromyalgia and CFS) using data from the Health Improvement Network database (1995 through 2017). The analysis included 18,547 women exposed to IPV and 74,188 women not exposed, who were matched by age.

The researchers found that 97 women in the exposed group developed fibromyalgia (incidence rate [IR], 1.63 per 1,000 person-years) versus 239 women in the unexposed group (IR, 0.83 per 1,000 person-years). An adjusted analysis yielded an incidence rate ratio of 1.73. For CFS, there was a similar pattern, with 19 exposed women developing CFS (IR, 0.32 per 1,000 person-years) versus 53 in the unexposed group (IR, 0.18 per 1,000 person-years), yielding an adjusted incidence rate ratio of 1.92.

"Survivors of domestic abuse can experience immense physiological and psychological stress," a coauthor said in a statement. "The changes that happen in the body as a result of such stress can lead to a multitude of poor health outcomes such as what we see in our study here."

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