By Kathleen Blanchard RN for EmaxHealth.com
Women abused during childhood were found in a new analysis to be at higher risk for heart disease and diabetes when they reach middle-age. According to the findings, published by the American Psychological Association, female child abuse victims are twice as likely to have higher blood pressure, larger waist circumference and high cholesterol levels in mid-life, compared to other women of the same age.
Strong link between physical abuse in childhood and later higher glucose levels
Women victims of child abuse are at higher risk for heart disease and diabetes because they develop metabolic syndrome, found in the study.
When researchers for the investigation took into account other traditional risk factors that included age, ethnicity and menopause status, a higher risk of the two health problems among female victims of child abuse was still apparent.
The finding is the first to show the unique health risk factor that stems from physical abuse as a child.
“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 in a press release.