BUSM researchers find link between childhood abuse and age at menarcheJuly 30, 2012
(Boston) - Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found an association between childhood physical and sexual abuse and age at menarche. The findings are published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Researchers led by corresponding author, Renée Boynton-Jarrett, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at BUSM, found a 49 percent increase in risk for early onset menarche (menstrual periods prior to age 11 years) among women who reported childhood sexual abuse compared to those who were not abused. In addition, there was a 50 percent increase in risk for late onset menarche (menstrual periods after age 15 years) among women who reported severe physical abuse in childhood. The participants in the study included 68,505 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study II, a prospective cohort study.
"In our study child abuse was associated with both accelerated and delayed age at menarche and importantly, these associations vary by type of abuse, which suggest that child abuse does not have a homogenous effect on health outcomes," said Boynton-Jarrett. "There is a need for future research to explore characteristics of child abuse that may influence health outcomes including type, timing and severity of abuse, as well as the social context in which the abuse occurs."
Child abuse is associated with a significant health burden over the life course. Early menarche has been associated with risks such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic dysfunction, cancer and depression, while late menarche has been associated with lower bone mineral density and depression.
"We need to work toward better understanding how child abuse influences health and translate these research findings into clinical practice and public health strategies to improve the well-being of survivors of child abuse," added Boynton-Jarrett.
This research was supported by the William T Grant Foundation, the Charles Hood Foundation, and the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health K12 HD043444 NIH Office of Women's Health Research funded data analysis, manuscript preparation. The Nurses' Health Study II is supported by Public Health Service grant CA50385 from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Nurses‟ Mothers‟ Cohort Study was funded by the Intramural Research Program of the National Cancer Institute, Research Contract N02-RC-17027 from the National Cancer Institute, and by P.O. 263 MQ 411027 from the National Cancer Institute. The 2001 supplemental violence assessment questionnaire was funded by R01 HL064108.
Boston University Medical Center
Related Childhood Abuse Current Events and Childhood Abuse News Articles
Traumatized moms avoid tough talks with kids, Notre Dame study shows
Mothers who have experienced childhood abuse, neglect or other traumatic experiences show an unwillingness to talk with their children about the child's emotional experiences, a new study from the University of Notre Dame shows.
PTSD research: distinct gene activity patterns from childhood abuse
Abuse during childhood is different. A study of adult civilians with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) has shown that individuals with a history of childhood abuse have distinct, profound changes in gene activity patterns, compared to adults with PTSD but without a history of child abuse.
Physical and Sexual Assault Linked to Increased Suicide Risk in Military
According to results of a new study by researchers at the University of Utah, military personnel experience increased risk of suicidal thoughts or actions if they were the victims of physical or violent sexual assault as adults.
Abuse during childhood linked to adult-onset asthma in African-American women
According to a new study from the Slone Epidemiology Center (SEC) at Boston University, African-American women who reported suffering abuse before age 11 had a greater likelihood of adult-onset asthma compared to women whose childhood and adolescence were free of abuse.
Childhood trauma leaves mark on DNA of some victims
Abused children are at high risk of anxiety and mood disorders, as traumatic experience induces lasting changes to their gene regulation.
Childhood abuse leads to poor adult health
The psychological scars of childhood abuse can last well into adulthood. New research from Concordia University shows the harm can have longterm negative physical effects, as well as emotional ones.
Middle-aged women who were child abuse victims at increased risk for heart disease, diabetes
Middle-aged women who report having been physically abused as children are about two times more likely than other women their age to have high blood pressure, high blood sugar, a larger waistline and poor cholesterol levels, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association.
Researchers find abuse during childhood may contribute to obesity in adulthood
Investigators from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center report research findings that may shed light on influences on obesity during adulthood.
Sexual minority women are often victims of abuse
Adult lesbian and bisexual women are more likely to report childhood abuse and adult sexual assault than heterosexual women, according to a new study by Dr. Keren Lehavot from the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle, USA and her collaborators.
Physical abuse may raise risk of suicidal thoughts
Adults who were physically abused during childhood are more likely than their non-abused peers to have suicidal thoughts, according to a new study from the University of Toronto.
More Childhood Abuse Current Events and Childhood Abuse News Articles