What We’re Reading: Mental Health ED Visits Rise; COVID-19 Testing Worries; Sexual Violence and CVD Effects

Emergency department (ED) visits among teenage girls doubled for eating disorders and tripled for tic disorders; World Health Organization official expresses concern for lack of COVID-19 testing; history of sexual violence among women may worsen their cardiovascular (CVD) health.

Mental Health ED Visits Among Teenage Girls Rise During Pandemic

Compared with 2019, the proportion of emergency department (ED) visits made by girls aged between 12 and 17 for various mental health conditions increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, reported The Hill. According to a CDC report, ED visits for this group doubled for eating disorders and approximately tripled for tic disorders. Some conditions also worsened during different parts of the pandemic, with visits for depression rising in 2020, and visits for anxiety, trauma, and stressor-related disorders increasing in 2021. Emergency room visits for eating, tic, and obsessive-compulsive disorders increased both years.

Worries Increase as COVID-19 Testing Decreases

World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove has expressed concern for the decrease in COVID-19 testing and global surveillance, The Washington Post reported. This worry comes amid news of states lifting mask mandates in response to a drop in US cases. As reported by CNBC, the number of new Omicron cases in the country are 90% lower compared with data from 5 weeks ago. However, an average of approximately 84,000 new cases are still being reported every day, and 68,000 deaths were reported last week.

Experience of Sexual Violence Linked to High Blood Pressure Development Among Women

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), history of sexual violence among women may worsen their cardiovascular health. A large study by the NIH showed that American women who experienced sexual violence—including sexual assault and workplace sexual harassment—at any point in their life were more likely to develop high blood pressure over a 7-year follow-up period. Women who experienced both assault and workplace harassment had the highest risk of developing high blood pressure, even after accounting for other health conditions.