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Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a public health challenge negatively affecting victims’ health. Telomere length (TL), a marker for biological ageing, might be reflective of the mechanisms through which IPV leads to adverse health outcomes. The objective of the current study was to explore the association between IPV and leucocyte TL.
We conducted an analysis using a subset of the UK Biobank (N = 144 049). Physical, sexual and emotional IPV were reported by the participants. DNA was extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes. TL was assayed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. We used multivariable linear regressions to test the associations between IPV and TL adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, deprivation, education, as well as symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in a sensitivity analysis.
After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, any IPV was associated with 0.02-s.d. shorter TL (β = −0.02, 95% CI −0.04 to −0.01). Of the three types of IPV, physical violence had a marginally stronger association (β = −0.05, 95% CI −0.07 to −0.02) than the other two types. The associations of numbers of IPV and TL showed a dose–response pattern whereby those who experienced all three types of IPV types had the shortest TL (β = −0.07, 95% CI −0.12 to −0.03), followed by those who experienced two types (β = −0.04, 95% CI −0.07 to −0.01). Following additional adjustment for symptoms of depression and PTSD, the associations were slightly attenuated but the general trend by number of IPVs remained.
Victims of IPV, particularly those exposed to multiple types of IPVs, had shorter TL indicative of accelerated biological ageing. Given that all three types of IPV are linked to TL, clinical practitioners need to comprehensively identify all types of IPV and those who received multiple types. Further studies should explore the association of violence with changes in TL over time, as well as to which extent biological ageing is a mechanistic factor.
This study examined the prevalence and risk of psychiatric disturbances and suicidal
behaviours among the peers of suicide attempters and completers. The subjects were selected
from high schools with and without history of student suicides in the past 3 years. The
psychiatric disturbances (as measured by the YSR and CBCL), suicidal behaviours, drug
use, and a wide range of potential risk factors were measured. About a quarter of the peers
of suicide completers and attempters were probable psychiatric cases and 15–21% of them
reported suicidal acts. The increased risk of psychiatric disturbances and suicidal behaviours
were still evident after controlling for age, sex, and potential risk factors. The presence of
psychiatric disturbances could not wholly account for the increased odds of suicidal
behaviours. Peers of suicide attempters carried a higher risk than peers of suicide completers.
The close friends of suicide completers were particularly at risk of internalising problems,
whereas the close friends of suicide attempters were at high risk of externalising problems.
The peers of suicide completers and attempters represent a high-risk group for psychiatric
disturbances and suicidal behaviours. The specific association of different types of psychiatric
disturbances in the peers of suicide completers and attempters suggested that different risk
mechanisms might be in operation within these peer groups.
A representative sample of 855 Hong-Kong Chinese children aged 36–48 months were assessed using the BSQ and the PBCL. Good reliability for both instruments were found. For the BSQ and PBCL, 12.75% and 27.5% were above the cut-off points of 10+ and 12 + respectively and 5.9% were above both cut-off points. In the second stage, 234 subjects were recruited by stratified random sampling according to the results of the screening stage. A clinician interviewed the parent, child and teacher before making a diagnosis. The prevalence of behaviour disorder was: nil, 53.7%; dubious, 23.1 %; mild, 18.0%; moderate, 4.5%; and severe, 0.7%. There were significantly more boys in the categories mild, moderate and severe.
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