HealthDay News — One in five American men admit to using violence against his spouse or partner, according to a survey published in Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

“Few studies have identified health services use and physical symptoms associated with IPV [intimate partner violence] perpetration among men,” wrote Vijay Singh, MD, MPH, MS, of the University of Michigan, and colleagues.

To assess the prevalence of IPV perpetration among adult men, the investigators analyzed data from the 2001 to 2003 National Comorbidity Survey. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression was used to determine associations of IPV perpetration with demographics, health services use, physical symptoms, mental health diagnoses, substance abuse/dependence, and prior family violence among 530 men with an average age of 42 years.

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Of the respondents, 78% were non-Hispanic white, 56% had continued their education beyond high school, an 84% were employed. The violence assessed included shoving and pushing, grabbing, throwing objects, slapping and hitting, kicking, biting, choking, burning, or threatening their partner with a weapon.

Of the health conditions and symptoms evaluated in the study, the physical symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, and substance abuse/dependence correlated with IPV perpetration.

More than 50% of the men in the study who reported violence against their spouse or partner had at least one routine health visit within the past year. Almost one-third of these men also visited the emergency department at least once in the past year. According to the investigators, these findings suggest that male perpetrators of IPV seek routine medical services.

“Understanding these associations may aid primary-care [providers]  in identifying male patients who perpetrate IPV,” concluded the study authors.


  1. Singh V et al. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2014; doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2014.05.130247