A new study shows that women who experience spouse or partner abuse have much higher health care costs and utilize more health care services than women who have no history of such violence. Years after abuse stops, these women continue to use the health care system more and to incur higher costs.
The abuse discussed in the study includes not only overt physical abuse, but also threats, controlling behavior and verbal abuse. Of the 3,333 women, aged 18 to 64, those who had been abused had 19% higher annual health care costs than other women. This group also had17% more primary health care visits, 14% more specialist visits, and 27% more prescription refills.