Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Women who were sexually abused as children more likely to smoke

24.02.2004


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."



Study results include:
  • Women who were sexually abused as children were 3.8 times more likely to be current smokers than women who didn’t report abuse. Childhood sexual abuse was defined as sexual fondling, attempted rape or rape before age 14.

  • Women who were sexually abused as children were twice as likely as those not abused to have ever smoked cigarettes.

  • Women reporting childhood sexual abuse were 2.1 times more likely than women not reporting abuse to start smoking by age 14.

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.

Shelly Plutowski | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mayo.edu/
http://www.mayoclinic.org/nicotine-rst/index.html
http://www.mayoclinic.org/psychiatry-rst/

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht New measure for the wellbeing of populations could replace Human Development Index
07.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Because not only arguments count
30.10.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>