The Relationship of Violence and Traumatic Stress to Changes in Weight and Waist Circumference: Longitudinal Analyses From the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation

Lorena Garcia, Lihong Qi, Marianne Rasor, Cari Jo Clark, Joyce Bromberger, Ellen B. Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article investigates the associations of violence and traumatic stress with changes in weight and waist circumference, hypothesizing that violence in midlife would be associated with increases or decreases in weight and waist circumference. The longitudinal cohort of the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation comprised the study sample, which included an ethnically/racially and socially diverse group of 2,870 women between the ages of 42 and 52 years at baseline. Women were followed annually for 10 years, and assessments included weight and waist circumference measures and data on violence, health outcomes, and confounders. At baseline, 8.6% Caucasian, 10.8% African American, 9.2% Chinese, and 5.0% Japanese women reported violence and traumatic stress. Reporting violence and traumatic stress during follow-up was significantly associated with weight gain (odds ratio [OR] = 2.39, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [1.28-4.47]), weight loss (OR = 3.54, 95% CI = [1.73-7.22]), and gain (OR = 2.44, 95% CI = [1.37-4.37]) or loss (OR = 2.66, 95% CI = [1.23-5.77]) in waist circumference, adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, education, marital status, and smoking. Violence and traumatic stress against midlife women were associated with gains or losses in weight and waist circumference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1459-1476
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume29
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health Program (K12 HD051958) awarded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH), Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), and the National Institute of Aging (NIA). Dr. Clark was supported by grant KL2TR000113 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and by grant 1R03HD068045-01A1 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHHD).

Keywords

  • community violence
  • cultural contexts
  • domestic violence
  • violence exposure

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