Tehran - Afkar News:

Black women who were abused as children may go on to have a higher rate of obesity as adults, a large observational study showed.

Severe physical and sexual abuse in childhood or the teen years predicted ۲۹% higher risk of overall and abdominal obesity in this segment of the U. S. population, Renée Boynton - Jarrett, MD, ScD, of Boston University, and colleagues found.

The associations persisted after adjustment for physical activity, socioeconomics, depression, and other key factors, the group reported in the August issue of Pediatrics.

" Our findings suggest that efforts to prevent child abuse have implications for current and future health, " they wrote. " Moreover, for survivors of abuse, behavioral patterns associated with cardiovascular risk may emerge in childhood and require tailored interventions that address trauma history in addition to modification of health behaviors. "

Prior studies have suggested a link between abuse in early life and obesity, though they have not looked at racially or ethnically diverse groups.

One reason for the link may be " the use of food in response to stress in adulthood, " particularly comfort foods, Boynton - Jarrett ' s group suggested.

Other mechanisms could be an influence on mood and mental health that leads to sedentary behaviors or on glucocorticoid levels that stimulate insulin and appetite, they added.

The researchers examined self - reported exposure to abuse in early life among ۳۳,۲۹۸ participants in the prospective Black Women ' s Health Study, which recruited its cohort through the Essence magazine subscriber list, professional organization rosters, and friends and relatives of early participants.

Nearly ۵۸% of the women reported at least one instance of sexual or physical assault or witnessed violence by age ۱۸.

The abuse was categorized as mild - - one or two instances of physical abuse and no sexual abuse - - for ۱۸%. Most fell into the " moderate " category with several instances of physical abuse and one to three reports of sexual abuse.

Severe exposure was recorded in ۱۱% of the women with six or more episodes of physical abuse or sexual abuse four or more times and in ۲% with both.

The likelihood of obesity as an adult climbed with increasing severity of abuse(P < ۰.۰۰۰۱ for trend).

Compared with no abuse as a child, the relative risk of a body mass index of ۳۰ kg / m۲ or greater was:

۱.۰۲ for mild physical abuse(۹۵% CI ۰.۹۹ to ۱.۰۶)
۱.۰۷ for moderate abuse(۹۵% CI ۱.۰۴ to ۱.۱۱)
۱.۱۷ for severe physical or sexual abuse(۹۵% CI ۱.۱۲ to ۱.۲۸)
۱.۲۹ for severe physical and sexual abuse(۹۵% CI ۱.۲۰ to ۱.۳۸)

Adjustment for marital status, education, birth weight, foreign born, and menopause status slightly attenuated the associations at the higher end of the exposure groups. Additional control for parity, alcohol use, smoking status, energy intake, soda consumption, fast food, TV viewing, vigorous physical activity, and depressive symptoms further weakened but didn ' t eliminate them.

Fully adjusted relative risks ranged from a significant ۱.۰۷ for moderate abuse to ۱.۱۴ for the most severe category.

The same patterns were seen for the association of abuse to central obesity as an adult(P < ۰.۰۰۰۱ for trend).

Compared with no abuse, the fully - adjusted relative risk of having a waist circumference over ۳۵ inches as an adult was:

۱.۰۱ for mild physical abuse(۹۵% CI ۰.۹۷ to ۱.۰۵)
۱.۰۵ for moderate abuse(۹۵% CI ۱.۰۲ to ۱.۰۸)
۱.۱۲ for severe physical or sexual abuse(۹۵% CI ۱.۰۵ to ۱.۲۷)
۱.۱۸ for severe physical and sexual abuse(۹۵% CI ۱.۱۰ to ۱.۲۷)

The researchers cautioned that retrospective reporting underestimates abuse and self - reporting tends to underestimate weight, likely yielding relatively conservative estimates.

Another limitation was that the study didn ' t control for other childhood hardships or social stressors, such as parental substance abuse, that could have been mediating factors in the relationship between obesity and abuse.

Source: http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/Obesity/33574