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Gaceta Sanitaria

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VIVES, Carmen; CABALLERO, Pablo  and  ALVAREZ-DARDET, Carlos. Temporal analysis of mortality due to intimate partner violence in Spain. Gac Sanit [online]. 2004, vol.18, n.5, pp.346-350. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objectives: To analyze the temporal distribution of mortality due to violence by intimate partners (VIP) and to identify possible temporal clusters in women deaths by VIP in Spain. Methods: We performed a descriptive epidemiological study based on the VIP deaths included in the database of the Federation of Divorced and Separated Women (1998-2003). The epidemic index (EI) was calculated as the ratio between the actual number of VIP deaths in a given month from January to July 2003 and the median number in the same month in the five preceding years. A Poisson model was used to analyze the distribution by years (1998-2002), seasons, months, and days. Simple regression analysis was performed with three-monthly means. A temporal cluster analysis was also carried out. Results: In 2003, the EI of VIP mortality was high in January (EI = 1.6), March (EI = 1.2), May (EI = 1.5), June (EI = 2), and July (EI = 2.5). Compared with 1998 and Sundays, respectively, mortality due to VIP was significantly increased in 2001 (relative risk, RR = 1.52; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05-2.20) and on Mondays (RR = 1.77; 95%CI, 1.13-2.76). The regression analyses confirmed an increase between the first three-month period of 1998 and the last three-month period of 2001. There were no differences between seasons and months. No temporal clusters of deaths were detected. Conclusions: VIP is currently an increasing epidemic in Spain with no clear temporal pattern. Political and legal efforts to reduce this problem do not seem to be successful.

Keywords : Partner abuse; Battered women; Mortality.

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