Childhood Maltreatment Tied to Increased CVD Risk

Pavankumar Kamat

July 17, 2020

Individuals experiencing maltreatment during childhood are likely to have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a new study published in Heart.

Researchers at the University of Bristol analysed medical records of 89,071 women and 68,240 men aged 40-69 years in the UK Biobank.

Associations of maltreatment with different types of CVD were similar across all types of childhood maltreatment in both sexes; however, the associations were pronounced for ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease. Women who have experienced physical abuse during childhood had a 50% higher risk of myocardial infarction, whereas men had a 20% higher risk. The findings also indicated stronger associations for early-onset CVD (before 50 years of age).

Dr Ana Gonçalves Soares from Bristol Medical School said: "This study is particularly important as it will help clinicians identify individuals who might benefit from early screening and interventions to prevent cardiovascular consequences. However, more understanding is needed on how childhood maltreatment links to CVD and whether the pathways from maltreatment to CVD differ for men and women and by type of maltreatment."

Soares ALG, Hammerton G, Howe LD, Rich-Edwards J, Halligan S, Fraser A. Sex differences in the association between childhood maltreatment and cardiovascular disease in the UK Biobank. Heart. 2020 Jul 14 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2019-316320. PMID: 32665362 Full text.

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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