Child abuse survivors TWICE as likely to get type 2 diabetes

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Survivors of child abuse are TWICE as likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life, study finds

  • Survivors of child abuse are 71% more likely to develop cardiovascular disease
  • Survivors are also  at 42 per cent greater risk of developing high blood pressure.
  • People who suffered emotional, sexual or physical abuse as a minor are also 75 per cent more likely to die from any other cause

Adults who were abused as a child — sexually, emotionally or physically — are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as adults, a British study has found. 

The survivors are also 71 per cent more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and are at 42 per cent greater risk of high blood pressure. 

Childhood maltreatment is thought to affect one in four Britons and around 33 per cent of people globally. 

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Adults who were abused as a child — sexually, emotionally or physically — are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The survivors are also 71 per cent more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and are at 42 per cent greater risk of developing high blood pressure (stock)

University of Birmingham researchers analysed almost a quarter of a million patients using anonymised medical records dating between 1995 and 2018. 

They found that 80,657 people were abused in some way as a child. 

Results published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found the link between historic child abuse and health issues as an adult. 

As well as increased risk of developing chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure, the survivors are also 75 per cent more at risk of dying from any other cause. 

Childhood maltreatment is thought to affect one in four Britons and around 33 per cent of people globally. As well as increased risk of developing chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure, the survivors are also 75 per cent more at risk of dying from any other cause (stock photo)

Childhood maltreatment is thought to affect one in four Britons and around 33 per cent of people globally. As well as increased risk of developing chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure, the survivors are also 75 per cent more at risk of dying from any other cause (stock photo)

The observational study was unable to determine why the child abuse victims are at increased risk of heath issues. 

However, previous studies have found exposure to maltreatment from a young age can alter the development of the immune system, metabolism as well as issues with the body’s hormonal and nervous systems. 

Lead author Dr Joht Chandan said: ‘Considering the high prevalence of childhood maltreatment globally, these findings suggest a substantial, but preventable burden of cardio-metabolic disease.

‘The findings are particularly notable within the United Kingdom, where conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes pose an increasing burden on the health service. 

‘Considering that an estimated 1 in 4 children within the UK are affected by maltreatment, our findings could suggest that a significant proportion of the cardio-metabolic disease cases may be attributable to maltreatment. 

‘Therefore, there is a clear public health message that requires a population- based approach to not only prevent childhood maltreatment but also the negative consequences as a result of it.’

In the UK about 90 per cent of diabetic adults have type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.

There are two main types of diabetes: 

Type 1, where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. 

Type 2, where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells do not react to insulin. 

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. 

In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2. 

Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes can be achieved through healthy eating, regular exercise and achieving a healthy body weight. 

The main symptoms of diabetes include: feeling very thirsty, urinating more frequently (particularly at night), feeling very tired, weight loss, and loss of muscle bulk.

Source: NHS 





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