Global Health Asia-Pacific March 2022 March 2022 - Page 22

Heart News

Sexual harassment could contribute to high blood pressure in women
Screen it as a risk factor to improve female heart health , experts suggest

Women who have suffered from sexual harassment or assault could be at increased risk for high blood pressure , a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease , compared to those who didn ’ t go through the traumatic experiences .

This is the conclusion of researchers at Harvard Medical School who scoured data from more than 30,000 women and found that those who reported sexual assault had an 11 percent higher risk of high blood pressure while those who experienced workplace sexual harassment saw a 15 percent surge . Women who went through both traumas had a 21 percent increased risk .
“ These results suggest that screening for a broader range of experiences of sexual violence in routine health care , including sexual harassment in the workplace , as well as verbal harassment or assault , and being aware of and treating potential cardiovascular health consequences may be beneficial for women ’ s long-term health ,” Dr Rebecca B . Lawn , a research fellow in epidemiology at the Harvard T . H . Chan School of Public Health and one of the study authors , said in a press release . “ Reducing sexual violence against women , which is important in its own right , may also provide a strategy for improving women ’ s lifetime cardiovascular health .”
She added that , though workplace sexual harassment and assault are common experiences for women , with 12 percent experiencing the former and 23 percent the latter , these are not currently considered risk factors for female heart disease .
Antibiotics do not alter risk of heart infection from dental work
Avoiding unnecessary medications can mitigate antibiotic resistance

Researchers in Sweden have found no increase in a bacterial heart infection called endocarditis among at-risk people who underwent dental treatment after the country dropped its recommendation to give antibiotics to prevent the condition .

People with congenital heart disease and prosthetic heart valves are at higher risk of developing endocarditis , a life-threatening infection caused by bacteria entering the blood stream and travelling to the heart . Such patients used to receive the antibiotic amoxicillin before undergoing dental treatments like tooth extraction and tartar scraping , procedures that might lead to infections .
But in 2012 Swedish health authorities stopped advising antibiotic use because there was no evidence to support its efficacy . Another aim was to reduce antibiotic resistance , a global public health problem where pathogens don ’ t respond to standard antibiotic therapies mostly due to repeated use .
After monitoring 76,000 high-risk individuals and almost 400,000 people at low risk for 10 years , the new study suggested the past decision was the right way to go .
“ We can only see small , statistically nonsignificant variations in morbidity , nothing that indicates a rise in this infection in the risk group since 2012 ,” Dr Niko Vähäsarja , study author and doctoral student at the Department of Dental Medicine , Karolinska Institutet , said in a press release . “ Our study therefore supports the change in recommendation . This is an internationally debated issue and Sweden and the UK are the only countries in Europe to restrict antibiotic use like this .”
20 MARCH 2022 GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com