Child Physical Abuse Linked to Heart Risk

TORONTO, July 23 (UPI) — People who were physically abused as children have a higher risk than others of heart disease as adults, researchers in Canada and Scotland found.

Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson of the University of Toronto used data from a representative community survey conducted in two Canadian provinces in 2005.

The study, published in the Child Abuse & Neglect, found that of the 13,000 respondents, 7 percent say they were physically abused as children and 4 percent reported they had been diagnosed with heart disease by a health professional.

“Individuals who reported they had been physically abused as children had 45 percent higher odds of heart disease than their peers who had not been abused, despite the fact we had adjusted for most of the known risk factors for heart disease,” Fuller-Thomson said in a statement.

The findings suggest patients who experienced child abuse or neglect should have their cardiovascular risk factors managed somewhat more aggressively than others, says co-author John Frank, director of Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy.

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