Childhood Trauma Leads to Increased Risk for Obesity, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease

Childhood abuse will, later on, create a cascade of potential medical conditions for both men and women who experienced trauma early in their life, according to a new study.

Victims of such maltreatment are likely to develop high cholesterol, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease as adults.

Physical and Psychological Abuse

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Previous research has suggested that physical and psychological abuse of children will yield to the mentioned health conditions later on in life.

Other studies have also mentioned before that a loving family and healthy upbringing in a household will have the opposite effect, decreasing the risk of heart disease.

However, the new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) on Wednesday, April 27, can be considered one of the most comprehensive types of research that investigated cardiovascular disease risk factors from childhood trauma.

Also Read: Childhood Abuse can Increase Obesity Risk in Adulthood

Approach and Methodology

The JAHA study employed a quantitative approach and used statistical data to arrive at mentioned findings.

Scientists examined data from the ongoing Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) long-term study.

CARDIA has used a data sample consisting of 5,115 black and white adults enrolled between 1985 and 1986; and 2015 and 2016 in the US.

The participants in the study were from various US cities such as Alabama, Birmingham, California, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Oakland.

During the onset of the study, all participants have an average age of 25 years old.

Abuse and Nurturing

The research team also used surveys containing questions about the area of ​​their family life divided into two categories: abuse and nurturing, as per Science Daily.

The abuse-related questions pertained to how often their parents or guardians at their home grabbed, pushed, shoved, or hit them, which led to an injury.

In addition, the survey also inquired if their adult supervisors insulted, threatened, swore, or them verbally.

On the other hand, nurturing-related questions sought to find how often parents or guardians made them feel cared for, loved, or supported.

It also focused on the gestures of affection and warmth shown by adult family members to them.

The yielded results show that the development of high cholesterol, which is considered to be a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, is higher among white men and white women who experienced childhood abuse, as cited by Science Daily.

Based on the results, the development or increased risk for such medical conditions is also dependent on gender and race.

Cardiovascular Disease and Type 2 Diabetes

The World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledges that cardiovascular diseases are the foremost cause of fatalities worldwide.

In 2019, the WHO estimated that 17.9 million individuals died, which is equivalent to 32% of deaths globally, where 85% were heart attacks and stroke.

In the US, approximately 659,000 Americans die from heart disease every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Furthermore, the CDC also said that over 37 million people in the US have diabetes, wherein between 90% to 95% have type 2 diabetes.

Related Article: Childhood Abuse Ups Drug Addiction Relapse Risk: Research

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