Objective: Previous research has suggested that childhood emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse are associated with an increased risk for ischemic heart disease. Our objective was to examine whether childhood abuse predicted incident metabolic syndrome, a precursor to heart disease, in midlife women.
Results: Approximately 34% of the participants reported a history of abuse. Cox model survival analysis showed that physical abuse was associated with incident metabolic syndrome over the course of 7 years (HR = 2.12, p = .02), adjusted for ethnicity, age at baseline, and time-dependent menopausal status. Sexual abuse and emotional abuse were unrelated to the metabolic syndrome.
Conclusion: This is the first study to show that a history of childhood abuse, specifically physical abuse, is related to the development of metabolic syndrome in midlife women.
Midea, et al. Health Psychology, Vol 32(2), Feb 2013, 121-127. doi: 10.1037/a0027891