Risk Factors for Smoking in Rural Women: The Role of Gender-Based Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence.

Nemeth JM, Bonomi AE, Lu B, Lomax RG, Wewers ME
J Womens Health (Larchmt) 25 1282-1291 01/01/2016

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Women living in Ohio Appalachia experience cervical cancer at disproportionately high rates. Intimate partner and sexual gender-based violence (GBV) and smoking are independent risk factors for cervical cancer and interact to heighten risk. Appalachian women smoke at higher rates than other Ohio women, but little is known about GBV exposure in the region. The purpose of this study was to establish prevalence of women's exposure to GBV in Ohio Appalachia and examine the association between GBV and smoking among women in the region.

METHODS: A two-phase address-based random sampling approach was used in three purposefully selected Ohio Appalachian counties to identify women to complete an interviewer administered cross-sectional survey (n = 398). The primary exposure variable was GBV Index Score, a 4 level indices representing increasing exposure to eight abuse types. Correlation analysis and logistic regression were used to examine smoking correlations and risk.

RESULTS: Almost 57% of women in the three selected Ohio Appalachian counties experienced GBV, with rate increasing to 77.5% among current smokers. The distribution of the GBV Exposure Index Score was significantly different across smoking status (p < = 0.0001), with exposure of GBV increasing when moving from never, to former, to current smokers. When controlling for depression, age, and adult socioeconomic position, GBV Exposure Index was significantly associated with current smoking behavior (OR:1.62, 95% CI [1.21-2.17]).

DISCUSSION: Professionals working to reduce disparate disease burden among women in Ohio Appalachia should consider the role GBV plays in health behavior and behavioral change interventions, including smoking and smoking cessation.

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