Purpose: Few studies have examined the association between intimate partner violence (IPV) and health outcomes for both women and men. The current study examined this relationship for women and men as part of a large cross-sectional public-health survey that collected information on a range of health behaviors and health risks.
Methods: In 2005, over 70,000 respondents in 16 states and 2 territories were administered the first-ever IPV module within the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). The BRFSS, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is an annual random-digit-dialed telephone survey. Lifetime IPV was assessed by four questions that asked about threatened, attempted, or completed physical violence, as well as unwanted sex.
Results: Women and men who reported IPV victimization during their lifetime were more likely to report joint disease, current asthma, activity limitations, HIV risk factors, current smoking, heavy/binge drinking, and not having had a checkup with a doctor in the past year.
Conclusions: Experiencing IPV is associated with a number of adverse health outcomes and behaviors. There remains a need for the development of assessment opportunities and secondary intervention strategies to reduce the risk of negative health behaviors and long-term health problems associated with IPV victimization.