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Partners in Health: Stand with Haiti

URL: www.standwithhaiti.org

A major earthquake centered just 10 miles from Port-au-Prince has devastated the country.  Partners in Health and its partner organization Zanmi Lasante have worked in Haiti for nearly twenty-five years, and today is one of the largest non-governmental health care providers in the country.

As so many feel the helplessness of unfolding events, and knowing that the next few days are essential to saving lives, we urge you to support our efforts. We are unique in what we have to offer, but our ability to continue to be effective depends on you. Please donate now so that we can continue and even expand our already significant efforts.

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Young Adults with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder May Be More Likely to Attempt Suicide

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—but not exposure to traumatic events without the development of PTSD—may be associated with subsequent attempted suicide in young adults, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Approximately 421,200 to 842,400 Americans age 15 to 24 attempt suicide every year, according to background information in the article. “History of a suicide attempt has been identified as one of the best predictors of a future attempt as well as completed suicide,” the authors write. Suicide was the third leading cause of death among U.S. young people in 2005.

Holly C. Wilcox, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Baltimore, and colleagues studied 1,698 young adults of a group of 2,311 who had been tracked since entering the first grade in Baltimore public schools. Fifteen years later, 90-minute interviews were conducted with the participants (average age 21) to assess the occurrence of traumatic experiences, suicide attempts and the development of PTSD.

Of the participants interviewed, 1,273 (81 percent) had been exposed to a traumatic event and 100 (6 percent, or 8 percent of those exposed to trauma) developed PTSD. Suicide had been attempted by 10 percent of those with PTSD, compared with 2 percent of those who were exposed to trauma but did not develop PTSD and 5 percent of those who had never been exposed to traumatic events.

“The mechanisms involved in the association between PTSD and suicide attempts are not known,” the authors write. “There could be a common pre-existing predisposition to PTSD and suicide attempts that was present before the trauma occurred. Studies of early trauma and suicidal behaviors have implicated depression and impulsivity as possible mediators or possible pre-existing susceptibility traits.”

Previous research has found that up to 20 percent of suicide attempts in young people are attributable to sexual abuse during childhood, the authors note. “Although we did not focus explicitly on child sexual abuse, our results point to the need to base risk estimates of attempted suicide on data that take into account the psychiatric response to the trauma. By distinguishing between trauma-exposed persons without and with PTSD, we found that it is PTSD that is associated with an increased risk of a suicide attempt. Whether or not this finding applies to sexual abuse in childhood or adulthood should be investigated in future studies.”

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(Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009;66[3]:305-311. Available pre-embargo to the media at www.jamamedia.org.)

Editor’s Note: This study was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

Victims Of Child Maltreatment More Likely To Perpetrate Youth Violence, Intimate Partner Violence

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070925090242.htm

Source:
Elsevier Health Sciences
Date:
September 27, 2007

Victims Of Child Maltreatment More Likely To Perpetrate Youth Violence, Intimate Partner Violence

Science Daily — Some people are caught in a cycle of violence, perhaps beginning with their own abuse as a child and continuing into perpetration or victimization as an adult. To interrupt this cycle, it is important to understand how childhood experiences are related to behavior later in life.

In a paper published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers examined how forms of child maltreatment victimization and youth violence and young adult intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration or victimization are interrelated.

This study analyzed data from more than 9,300 respondents of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Respondents were asked about youth violence perpetration and victimization during Wave I of the study in 1994-1995, and were subsequently asked about IPV perpetration and victimization in young adult sexual relationships in Wave III of the study (2001-2002).

Questions in Wave III assessed whether the respondent suffered physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect as a child. To evaluate IPV in young adults, this study was restricted to those respondents who reported at least one sexual relationship in the two years preceding Wave III. In addition, demographic and environmental variables were collected, such as parent education, employment status, school enrollment, and the county crime rate, among others.

Youth violence was defined as fighting, hurting someone badly enough to need care, threatening to use a weapon, using a weapon, and shooting or stabbing someone. Intimate partner violence was defined as threatening a partner with violence; pushing, shoving, or throwing something at a partner; slapping, hitting, or kicking a partner; or insisting or making a partner have sexual relations when he or she did not want to do so.

The authors examined two relationships: the relationship among child maltreatment, youth violence perpetration, and IPV perpetration (perpetration link), and the relationship between child maltreatment, youth violence victimization, and IPV victimization (victimization link).

Depending on the specific type of child maltreatment experienced, compared to nonvictims, victims were more likely to perpetrate youth violence (up to 6.6% for females and 11.9% for males) and young adult IPV (up to 10.4% for females and 17.2% for males). Gender differences exist in the links between child maltreatment, youth violence and IPV.

For instance, the link between IPV perpetration and child maltreatment in the forms of physical abuse and neglect was stronger in females. The link between child sexual abuse and future IPV perpetration was significant for males but not for females. Gender differences also exist in the effects of socioeconomic factors on youth violence and IPV.

Writing in the article, the study authors note that victims of child maltreatment are more likely to perpetrate youth violence and IPV in the future and that there was less of an effect of child maltreatment on future victimization of youth violence or IPV. The authors state that these findings reinforce the commonly held views that preventing child maltreatment may be key to preventing future perpetration of youth violence, and that interventions targeting youth violence may also serve to prevent later IPV perpetration or concurrent dating violence.

The article is “Child Maltreatment, Youth Violence, and Intimate Partner Violence – Developmental Relationships” by Xiangming Fang, PhD, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia and Phaedra S. Corso, PhD, Department of Health Policy and Management, College of Public Health, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. It appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 33, Issue 4 (October 2007) published by Elsevier.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Elsevier Health Sciences.

War Trauma May Raise Heart Risks

A study funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs documents a link between PTSD and future heart disease.This new study joins existing evidence that vets are more prone to autoimmune diseases. The researchers are affiliated with Harvard and Boston University and results appeared in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Another study, this one funded by the Army, looked at 2,863 solidiers a year after returning from combat in Iraq and found that those returning with PTSD had overall worse physical health. Results from the Army study appeared in the American Journal of Psychiatry.