Between 2012 and 2015, years before the Time’s Up and Me Too movements galvanized countless women to come forward with accounts of sexual harassment and assault, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh asked a group of midlife female study participants if they had ever experienced these traumas.
The questions might have seemed out of place to some: The researchers, led by Rebecca Thurston, PhD, were investigating the association between menopausal symptoms—specifically hot flashes—and early signs of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Why ask about harassment and assault in a study about heart health?
Abbasi J. Sexual Harassment and Assault Associated With Poorer Midlife Health in Women. JAMA. 2019;321(3):234–236. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.17679
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