Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Childhood Abuse Linked to Diabetes Risk in Adult Women

New findings suggest that women who were victims of childhood abuse may be at increased risk of developing diabetes in adulthood.

Lead author Janet Rich-Edwards, director of developmental epidemiology at Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said in a Center for Advancing Health news release that "Much, although not all, of this association is explained by the greater weight gain of girls with a history of abuse. The weight gain seems to start in teenage years and continues into adulthood, increasing the risk of diabetes". 

As child abuse leaves an enduring imprint on the health in adulthood careful measures need to be taken against child abuse to protect them in the long-run, as the experience of the abuse gets incorporated in the body in some way or the other. 

"One theory is that abused women develop disordered eating habits as a compensatory stress behavior, leading to excess weight gain," Rich-Edwards said. "Another theory suggests that child abuse may increase levels of stress hormones that later cause weight gain and insulin resistance, characteristic of diabetes."

In either way, the risk remains of long-term health burden. Such issues existing in society need urgent attention to address the needs of the people and make lives easier for everyone. For child abuse the best ways to learn to prevent them involve helping families to be careful regarding the occurrence and alerting clinicians the possible role of abuse in pre-diabetics and diabetics patients.

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