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Medical conditions are more common in women who are sexually abused

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Researchers have found that a variety of conditions are more common in women before and after sexual assault.

Compared with women without a known assault experience, those who experienced sexual assault were more likely to have diseases of the circulatory and respiratory systems, epilepsy, and liver disease, both before and after the assault. They were also more likely to develop cervical cancer after the assault.

The investigators also found that the number of visits to a general practitioner was significantly higher in exposed women both before and after the assault. Complications associated with childbirth were not statistically different between the groups.

"The susceptibility of women exposed to a sexual assault is demonstrated by an increased somatic morbidity before as well as after the assault," said Dr. Mie-Louise Larsen, lead author of the Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica study, which included 2,501 women who attended the Centre for Victims of Sexual Assault in Copenhagen and 10,004 women without a known assault experience.

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