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London, May 8 – Women, who have suffered domestic abuse, may have a higher risk of developing atopic diseases, including asthma, according to a research led by one of Indian origin.
Published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, the research found that in analysis of patient records, there were a significantly larger percentage of women who had atopic diseases and had a history of being exposed to domestic abuse and violence compared to those who hadn’t.
“Our results show women with a recorded exposure to domestic violence and abuse had a 52 per cent increased risk of developing atopic diseases,” said Dr Joht Singh Chandan from the University of Birmingham, UK.
“Domestic violence and abuse is a global issue that disproportionately affects women. We set out to deepen our understanding of the health impacts of domestic violence so evidence-based public health policies can be further developed to address not only domestic violence, but secondary effects like the development of atopic diseases,” he added.
The team of researchers performed a retrospective study in the UK, looking at adult women (those aged 18 and older) with a physician recorded exposure to domestic violence and comparing them to women over 18 without a recorded exposure.
Patients with pre-existing reports of atopic disease were excluded from the study.
A total of 13,852 women were identified as being exposed to domestic violence and were matched to 49,036 similar women without a reported exposure.
In total, 967/13,852 women in the exposed group were diagnosed with atopic disease compared to 2,607/49,036 in the unexposed group.
The researchers also acknowledged limitations to the study such as women in the exposed group were more likely to be a current smoker than women in the unexposed group.