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Physical Abuse in Childhood raises Heart Diseases' Risk in Women


Physical Abuse in Childhood raises Heart Diseases' Risk in Women

(ePharmaNews) - Children abuse has a well known negative effects upon their psychological and emotional health, but it seems that physical abuse toward girls is more dangerous on their health and has a long-lasting effects than ever thought, according to a new study.

Published online in the American Psychological Association  journal Health Psychology, this study suggests that middle-aged women who report having been physically abused as children are about two times more likely than other women their age to have high blood pressure, high blood sugar, a larger waistline and poor cholesterol levels.

Those previously mentioned conditions, are known as metabolic syndrome, which makes people who have it, whether men or women, more prone to diabetes and cardiovascular risk.

According to the authors, it is the first study to show that a history of childhood physical abuse is related to the development of metabolic syndrome in women at mid-life.

“Our research shows us that childhood abuse can have long-lasting consequences, even decades later, on women’s health and is related to more health problems down the road,” said study co-author Aimee Midei, MS, from the University of Pittsburgh.
Participants in the study were 342 women, 113 black and the remainder white, from the Pittsburgh area. They were between the ages of 42 and 52 when the study began. Each completed a childhood trauma questionnaire that assessed past physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Approximately 34 percent of the participants reported experiencing some type of childhood abuse.
Results showed that physical abuse was strongly associated with metabolic syndrome, even after controlling for ethnicity, age, menopause and other traditional risk factors.

Sexual abuse and emotional abuse were unrelated to metabolic syndrome, according to the findings.

The authors further examined individual components of the metabolic syndrome and found that physical abuse was particularly associated with larger waist circumference and fasting glucose, both of which are precursors to Type 2 diabetes. “It’s possible that women with histories of physical abuse engage in unhealthy eating behaviors or have poor stress regulation,” said Midei. “It appears that psychology plays a role in physical health even when we’re talking about traumatic incidents that happened when these women were children.”


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Edited By: Laila Nour


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ePharmaNews






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