Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and intimate partner violence (IPV) are 2 major chronic problems that prevalently affect women's health and quality of life in the United States. However, whether female IPV survivors are at risk for developing adverse cardiovascular outcomes has not been clearly understood.
This integrative review was conducted to bridge the literature gap by examining cardiovascular health in female adults with a history of IPV experience.
Three electronic databases including PubMed, CINAHL, and Web of Science were used to search for studies published between 1998 and 2019. The search process followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses guidelines.
Of the 229 records retrieved from the literature, 19 met the criteria for review. All included studies were quantitative research. Although the overall findings showed a mixed relationship between IPV and CVD, women who experienced abuse were more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors, have higher levels of CVD biomarkers, experience cardiovascular symptoms, and exhibit long-term cardiovascular complications when compared with nonabused women.
Intimate partner violence is a stressor that directly and indirectly influences women's cardiovascular health. Therefore, it is essential for healthcare providers to routinely screen IPV status in clinical practice. Targeted interventions, such as assessing women's coping strategies and evaluating their cardiovascular health using a total risk factor approach, are recommended to prevent or reduce the deleterious effects of violence on this large, vulnerable group of women.