Urinary and Genital Problems Seen in Girls After Years of Sexual Abuse

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Girls, but not boys, sexually abused in childhood had more urinary and genital problems up to 12 years after sexual abuse was substantiated.
Girls, but not boys, sexually abused in childhood had more urinary and genital problems up to 12 years after sexual abuse was substantiated.

HealthDay News — Girls sexually abused in childhood have more urinary and genital health problems, even years after the abuse, than those in the general population, according to a study published online in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Pascale Vézina-Gagnon, of the University of Montreal, and colleagues used data from administrative databases (January 1996 through March 2013) to identify genitourinary problems in 882 sexually abused children and 882 matched controls.

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The researchers found that up to 12 years after sexual abuse was substantiated, abused girls had 2.1 more diagnoses for urinary and 1.4 times more diagnoses for genital health problems vs girls from the general population. There were no differences between the groups for sexually transmitted infections. Among sexually abused boys, there were no differences in number of diagnoses of the 3 outcomes compared to the general population. Abused girls and those from the general population had between 2.5 and 11 times more diagnoses, depending on the genitourinary health problem, than boys who were abused or from the general population.

"This study showed that substantiated childhood sexual abuse is associated with more urinary and genital health problems among girls but not boys," the authors write. "Early prevention and intervention efforts may mitigate the problems such that they do not persist or worsen over time and into adulthood."

Reference

Vézina-Gagnon P, Bergeron S, Frappier JY, Daigneault I. Genitourinary health of sexually abused girls and boys: a matched-cohort study [published online December 19, 2017].  J Pediatr. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.09.087

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