MONDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Children who experience abuse
or other adversities and develop mental health disorders are at
increased risk for chronic physical problems when they're adults,
according to a new study.
Researchers examined data from people in 10 countries included
in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys
initiative. The team looked at anxiety disorders and depression in
children and at the following childhood adversities: abuse,
neglect, loss of a parent through death or other causes, divorce,
parental substance abuse, parental criminal behavior, family
violence and being poor.
Both anxiety and depression in childhood were associated with
three chronic pain conditions in adulthood: osteoarthritis, chronic
spinal pain (back or neck), and frequent or severe headache.
Physical abuse in childhood was associated with a number of
chronic diseases in adulthood: heart disease, asthma, diabetes,
osteoarthritis, chronic spinal pain and headache.
The greater the number of childhood adversities, the higher the
risk of physical health problems in adulthood, the investigators
"These results are consistent with the hypothesis that childhood adversities and early-onset mental disorders have independent, broad-spectrum effects that increase the risk of diverse chronic physical conditions in later life," concluded Kate M. Scott, of the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, and colleagues.
The study is published in the August issue of the journal
Archives of General Psychiatry.
The American Academy of Family Physicians explains how
your emotions affect your health.