News Release

Exposure to family violence compromises physical and mental health of older women

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

New Rochelle, NY, March 5, 2009—Older African American women exposed to high levels of family violence during their lifetimes are at significantly greater risk of poor health status, according to a report in the current issue of Journal of Women's Health, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. ( This report is available free online at

Higher lifetime exposure among older African American women to family violence, which may include intimate partner violence and elder maltreatment, is linked to worse physical and mental health, regardless of when the exposure occurred. Anuradha Paranjape, MD, MPH, Nancy Sprauve-Holmes, MPH, John Gaughan, PhD, and Nadine Kaslow, PhD, from Temple University School of Medicine (Philadelphia, PA) and Emory University School of Medicine (Atlanta, GA), used a survey to assess lifetime family violence levels, including physical violence, emotional, financial, and sexual abuse, neglect, and coercion, among 158 African American women 50 years of age or older attending ambulatory medicine clinics at a large inner-city public hospital in the southeastern U.S. The authors also gathered measures of the women's physical and mental health status.

In the article entitled, "Lifetime Exposure to Family Violence: Implications for the Health Status of Older African American Women," the authors conclude that a holistic approach to caring for older African American women should include greater awareness by clinicians of current and past violence exposure and the negative effects it may have on the health status of these women.

"This study provides further evidence of the enduring harmful effects that family violence can have on both mental and physical health, and in particular it highlights the association between such exposure and the health of older African American women," says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, and Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA.


Journal of Women's Health, published monthly, is a core multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the diseases and conditions that hold greater risk for or are more prevalent among women, as well as diseases that present differently in women. Under the leadership of Editor-in-Chief Susan G. Kornstein, MD, and Deputy Editor Wendy S. Klein, MD, of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, the Journal covers the latest advances and clinical applications of new diagnostic procedures and therapeutic protocols for the prevention and management of women's healthcare issues. Journal of Women's Health is the Official Journal of the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA;

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (, is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Obesity Management, Breastfeeding Medicine, Thyroid, Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, and Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 60 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available at

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 140 Huguenot Street, New Rochelle, NY 10801 Phone: (914) 740-2100 (800) M-LIEBERT Fax (914) 740-2110

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