By Michael Roizen, M.D., And Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Sexual assault, harassment and lasting health repercussions

When Yellowstone Park's Ear Spring geyser started erupting in September 2018, for the first time since 1957, it spewed hundreds of pieces of detritus, including old beer cans, a pacifier from the 1930s and dozens of coins, into the air. Goes to show you, once again, that even when you don't see pollution in the environment, it can be lurking below the surface, waiting to spread its damage far and wide.

The same can be said for the long-term repercussions of sexual assault, according to a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers looked at the history and health of 300 middle-aged women who had (sometimes decades earlier) been sexually assaulted. They found that it was clearly associated with present-day anxiety, depression and poor sleep. Those who had suffered sexual harassment at work had an increased risk of high blood pressure and poor sleep.

Many women carry the burden of their assault in silence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 63 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to the police. And many women may not be aware that there's a connection between their past experience and their current health.

So if you have been assaulted, tell someone - a therapist, a loved one, a friend, someone in a support group. You deserve to have your physical health protected from assault too! For help and support, go to or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE.

© 2018 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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