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Abuse in childhood and cardiometabolic health in early adulthood: evidence from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children

Goncalves Soares, Ana, Zimmerman, Annie, Zammit, Stanley, Karl, Anke, Halligan, Sarah L and Fraser, Abigail 2021. Abuse in childhood and cardiometabolic health in early adulthood: evidence from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Journal of the American Heart Association Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease 10 (24) , e021701. 10.1161/JAHA.121.021701

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Abstract

Background Although childhood abuse has been consistently associated with cardiovascular disease in later adulthood, its associations with cardiometabolic health in younger adults are poorly understood. We assessed associations between childhood physical, sexual, and psychological abuse and cardiometabolic outcomes at 18 and 25 years. Methods and Results We used data on 3223 participants of the ALSPAC (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children). Exposure to childhood abuse was self‐reported retrospectively at 22 years. We used linear regression to assess the associations between childhood abuse and cardiometabolic outcomes at 18 and 25 years. At 18 years, physical (β 1.35 kg/m2; 95% CI, 0.66–2.05), sexual (β 0.57 kg/m2; 95% CI 0.04–1.11), and psychological (β 0.47 kg/m2; 95% CI 0.01–0.92) abuse were associated with higher body mass index. Physical abuse was also associated with lower high‐density lipoprotein cholesterol (β −0.07 mmol/L; 95% CI, −0.13 to −0.01) and higher C‐reactive protein (31%; 95% CI, 1%–69%), and sexual abuse was associated with higher heart rate (β 1.92 bpm; 95% CI 0.26–3.58). At age 25, all 3 types of abuse were additionally associated with higher insulin, and sexual abuse was associated with lower cholesterol (−0.14 mmol/L; 95% CI, −0.26 to −0.01). The age at which abuse occurred (<11or 11–17 years) had little influence on the associations, and when sex differences were evident, associations were stronger in men. Conclusions Childhood abuse is associated with negative cardiometabolic outcomes even by young adulthood. Further follow‐up will determine whether associations strengthen across the life course and whether sex differences persist, which is essential for targeting effective screening programs and early interventions in those who suffered abuse in childhood.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License
Publisher: American Heart Association
ISSN: 2047-9980
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 August 2021
Date of Acceptance: 19 July 2021
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 15:15
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/143269

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