1. Section Editor(s): Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN

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People with a history of sexual abuse are at high risk for somatic disorders later in life, concludes a metaanalysis in the August 5 issue of JAMA. The study reviewed 23 reports of somatic outcomes in 4,640 participants. Sexual abuse was strongly linked to a future diagnosis of gastrointestinal disorders, nonspecific chronic pain, psychogenic seizures, and chronic pelvic pain. Somewhat surprisingly, abuse wasn't linked to histories of fibromyalgia, obesity, or headaches. Connections between sexual abuse and psychological or psychiatric disorders are well documented, but it's also known that survivors of sexual abuse seek medical care more often than the general public and incur higher medical costs. It has been suggested that only a small percentage of survivors report their past to health care practitioners. Asking patients about sexual abuse-and referring them to appropriate mental health professionals-may improve their treatment. "Prompt recognition of the physical and psychological sequelae of sexual abuse," write the authors, "may halt unnecessary medical escalation and provide care better suited to promote recovery."