Cookie Notice

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Review our cookies information for more details.

skip to main content

Intimate Partner Violence Linked to Worsened Asthma Morbidity in Adults

AAAAI News Release

August 2, 2021

April Presnell, Media & Member Communications Manager
(414) 272-6071

Research published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice examines how intimate partner violence may affect different facets of asthma.

Milwaukee, WI – Intimate partner violence (IPV) is associated with higher odds of asthma exacerbations, increased symptoms and less asthma control in asthmatic adults, even after adjusting for confounders, according to new research from The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice (JACI: In Practice), an official journal of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).

This study examined data from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey database from 2005, which included questions about IPV and adult asthma histories. IPV, defined as physical or sexual violence, stalking, or psychological aggression from an intimate partner, is a prevalent stressor. Researchers compared those with a history of IPV to those without, who also had diagnosed asthma, using multivariate logistic regression to study the relationship between IPV with asthma morbidity outcomes.

Researchers found IPV affected 37% of females and 20% of males within the data set. Any history of IPV was associated with increased odds for all asthma morbidity outcomes. Any history of IPV had 1.75 greater odds for asthma exacerbation within the past 12 months of the reporting period, and 2.35 greater odds for emergency department or urgent care visits for asthma during the last 12 months of the reporting period. Perceived asthma attacks and other urgent provider visits also had higher odds.

Those reporting any history of IPV had 2.33 greater odds of worse asthma symptoms, as well as 2.23 greater odds of uncontrolled asthma. Those with more remote IPV exposure notably also had greater odds for worse asthma morbidity outcomes compared to those with no history of IPV, despite IPV taking place at least 12 months in the past.

“Intimate partner violence is unfortunately a very prevalent issue, and this study demonstrates that it remains an under-recognized characteristic of uncontrolled asthma and poor asthma outcomes,” said corresponding author Eileen Wang, MD, MPH. “These results were evident even after accounting for confounding factors including socioeconomic status, smoking, and more. Healthcare professionals should consider these factors while working with their patients, and how violence in the home could be impacting chronic health conditions such as asthma.”

Because IPV is also associated with a myriad of conditions including traumatic brain injury, chronic stress, and PTSD, further studies must be done to hone in on the biological and psychological processes that impact the relationship between IPV and worsened asthma morbidity.

You can learn more about asthma on the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website,

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) represents allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic and immunologic diseases. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has more than 7,100 members in the United States, Canada and 72 other countries. The AAAAI’s Find an Allergist/Immunologist service is a trusted resource to help you find a specialist close to home.