Domestic violence and life expectancy link

Domestic violence linked to dying early 

COLUMBIA, Mo., June 8 (UPI) — Experts suggest the United States’ ranking  near the bottom of 33 developed countries for life expectancy at birth — 27th  — may be due to domestic violence.

Tina Bloom, an assistant professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing at the  University of Missouri, says leading causes of infant mortality are  complications related to pre-term birth or low birth weight-outcomes — both of  which can have a life-long impact — have been linked with domestic violence.

However, addressing maternal-child health disparities goes beyond the issue  of domestic violence because abused women need access to resources for finding  employment, affordable and safe housing, financial assistance, transportation  and healthcare, Bloom explains.

These social determinants of health, articulated in the U.S. Department of  Health and Human Services’ “Healthy People 2020,” a 10-year plan for improving  the health of Americans, heavily influence women’s responses to violence and the  health of women and children.

“Healthcare providers are not well trained to routinely screen or recognize  the signs of domestic violence,” Bloom says in a statement. “They don’t know how  to ask about abuse, what to say or how to connect abused women with help. We  need to engage with current students, our future healthcare providers, to bring  this issue to the forefront.”

Healthy mothers produce healthy babies and together they give rise to a  healthy population, Bloom adds.

Bloom’s findings are published in the Western Journal of Nursing Research.

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