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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
August 13, 2008

Adverse Health Conditions and Health Risk Behaviors Associated With Intimate Partner Violence—United States, 2005

JAMA. 2008;300(6):646-649. doi:10.1001/jama.300.6.646

MMWR. 2008;57:113-117

3 tables omitted

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is defined as threatened, attempted, or completed physical or sexual violence or emotional abuse by a current or former intimate partner. IPV can be committed by a spouse, an ex-spouse, a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend, or a dating partner.1 Each year, IPV results in an estimated 1,200 deaths and 2 million injuries among women and nearly 600,000 injuries among men.1 In addition to the risk for death and injury, IPV has been associated with certain adverse health conditions and health risk behaviors.1 To gather additional information regarding the prevalence of IPV and to assess the association between IPV and selected adverse health conditions and health risk behaviors, CDC included IPV-related questions in an optional module of the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. This report describes the results of that survey, which indicated that persons who report having experienced IPV during their lifetimes also are more likely to report current adverse health conditions and health risk behaviors. Although a causal link between IPV and adverse health conditions cannot be inferred from these results, they underscore the need for IPV assessment in health-care settings. In addition, the results indicate a need for secondary intervention strategies to address the health-related needs of IPV victims and reduce their risk for subsequent adverse health conditions and health risk behaviors.