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Int J Epidemiol. 2007 Jun;36(3):569-79. Epub 2007 Feb 28.

Domestic violence is associated with adult and childhood asthma prevalence in India.

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Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



Little is known on the influence of stressful psychosocial circumstances in predicting asthma. We examine the link between asthma prevalence and domestic violence (DV) in a nationally representative sample of adults and children in India.


Analyses were based on the 1998-99 cross-sectional nationally representative Indian National Family Health Survey administered in 92 486 households. Individual-level prevalence of asthma was the primary outcome for this study. Exposure to DV was based on women's self-report of DV.


In adjusted models, women who experienced DV either recently or in the past were at greater risk of being asthmatic [odds ratio (OR) range 1.26-1.37], compared with those who did not report any abuse. In households where women reported to have experienced DV, asthma risk was higher for all individuals in those households (OR range 1.15-1.19). The association between household DV and individual risk for asthma was also observed in gender-stratified analysis, and also in age-stratified analysis, with strong association observed in age groups of under-five, 5-14, 15-24 and 25-44 years.


We find a consistent association between being exposed to, and having experienced, DV and asthma prevalence. Stress-induced mechanisms, partially captured through violence and social circumstances, may be a critical explanatory link in furthering our understanding of the social disparities in asthma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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