Women who were sexually abused as children are much more likely to be current smokers than women who weren’t abused as children. That’s a key finding of a preliminary study on possible connections between sexual abuse and smoking -- a topic that has been largely overlooked in medical research.
The study is published in the February issue of the journal Addictive Behaviors.
"We found childhood sexual abuse is a strong predictor of smoking for women," says Colmar De Von Figueroa-Moseley, Ph.D., lead investigator in the study and director of Mayo Clinic’s Office of Diversity in Clinical Research. "In our study, it was a more reliable smoking predictor than income, age or ethnicity. Understanding this connection could lead to new approaches to help girls and women avoid or stop smoking."
Women who reported many incidents of sexual abuse as adults also were more likely to be smokers, but at a far lower risk level than women who reported even one instance of childhood abuse.
How the study was done
Researchers analyzed written surveys from 296 women, who ranged in age from 18 to 74. The study was conducted at California State University at San Bernardino, and 90 percent of the participants were college students. The respondents were racially diverse: 49.7 percent white; 24.9 percent Latino; 9.3 percent black; 8.3 percent Asian and 7.8 percent other ethnic groups. Respondents answered questions about smoking, sexual abuse, income, education and ethnicity.
Nine percent of the women were current smokers, and 69.3 percent of respondents had smoked at least once. About 29 percent of respondents reported being sexually abused as a child; 52 percent said they were sexually victimized as adults.
The sexual abuse-smoking connection
"Childhood sexual abuse may be a hidden but powerful reason why girls start smoking," says Dr. Figueroa-Moseley. "Smoking may be a way to cope with the stress of abuse."
While overall smoking rates have declined significantly over recent decades, smoking rates for teen and adult women recently have increased.
The conclusions of this research are limited by the small number of participants. "But the findings do support a compelling argument that sexual abuse is a strong -- yet little understood -- predictor of smoking," says Dr. Figueroa-Moseley. More systematic study is needed before developing new treatment options.
Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology
Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News