Influence of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Exposure on Cardiovascular and Salivary Biosensors: Is There a Relationship?

Leslie R. Halpern, Malcolm L. Shealer, Rian Cho, Elizabeth B. McMichael, Joseph Rogers, Daphne Ferguson-Young, Charles P. Mouton, Mohammad Tabatabai, Janet Southerland, Pandu Gangula

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background/purpose Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a global public health epidemic that initiates/exacerbates health consequences affecting a victim's lifespan. IPV can significantly predispose women to a lifetime risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) due to the effects of stress and inflammation. This study investigates the correlation among IPV exposure, in-vivo CVD events, and inflammatory biomarkers as predictor indices(s) for CVD in female dental patients. Methods Of 37 women enrolled in this study, 19 were African-American (AA) and 18 non-African-American (non-AA) and their ages ranged from 19 to 63 years. IPV-exposure and stress-induced in-vivo CVD events such as Chest Pain (CP) and Heart palpitations were recorded from all enrolled subjects. Cardiovascular events were obtained through surveys by patient self-report. Saliva specimens were obtained from all women and were analyzed for CVD biomarkers using multiplex-ELISA. Results The prevalence of IPV was 51% (19/37) and statistically equivalent for AA and non-AA. The results show differences in experience of 1) CP (p < 0.01) and 2) heart palpitations (p < 0.02) when IPV + participants are compared with IPV- AA and non-AA cohorts. Of 10 CVD biomarkers analyzed, significant correlations between IPV+ and IPV- subjects were observed for biomarkers that include Interleukin-1β/sCD40L; TNFα/sCD40L; Myoglobin/IL-1β; CRP/sCD40L; CRP/IL-6; CRP/TNFα; TNFα/siCAM; CRP/MMP9; TNF-α/Adiponectin (p < 0.01). Discussion/Implications Analysis of in vivo CVD status showed that significant race/health disparities exist in IPV + cohorts, as well as increased expression of inflammatory mediators, specifically CRP, IL-1β, IL-6, MMP9. Women who have experienced IPV may be a target cohort for primary prevention of CVD. The use of salivary biomarkers and our protocol may provide a less invasive method to help increase identification of victims at risk for IPV and CVD and potentially decrease other health injuries associated with IPV exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-261
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 4 2017


  • Facial injuries
  • Health disparities
  • Intimate partner violence (IPV)
  • Questionnaires
  • Saliva
  • cardiovascular disease (CVD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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