Childhood is supposed to be the happiest time in a person’s life. Sadly, things are not always like this, and children go through a series of age-inappropriate situations. What’s more, specialists show that childhood abuse triggers health problems and even early death, especially with women.
Childhood abuse never brings anything good. And once those children grow up, nothing assures them that the bad times are over too. A new study, published on August 17, proves that childhood abuse has long-term effects, and takes its toll on the health of the people who experienced it.
Childhood abuse results in adults’ depression, heart disease, and psychiatric problems. The issue of early death has been less studied, but existing research shows that the risk is higher for women.
The study was based on results from people who participated in surveys in 1995 and 1996, and almost half of them were women. The following years, up to present date, were dedicated to investigating on their physical and mental health, after reporting different levels of childhood abuse (physical and/ or mental). According to death rates, the researchers observed that none of the men involved in the study died across the 20 years. On the other hand, there is a variety of percentage with women: function of the type of childhood abuse and of how severe it had been, the percentage showing the risk of death was between 30 and 60%.
The health problems also appear function of how affected the person was by the event in their childhood. The chances are that a more sensitive person should be more prone to health problems and early death than a stronger one going through a similar situation.
Doctor Edith Chen was in charge of the study. She talked to Medscape Medical News about the differences between men and women regarding childhood abuse:
“Also, we cannot tell from the data, but we speculate that there may be differences in how men and women cope with stress, or that there may be differences in men’s and women’s biological ― for example hormonal ― responses to stress, and that may account for the gender difference that was seen in our study.”
Specialists admit they need more information on the subject, so further research will be carried out in order to determine if there really is a stronger connection between high mortality rates with women who have been abused as children, whereas men are out of danger.
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