Childhood adversity and adult health: The role of developmental timing and associations with accelerated aging

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Abstract

Childhood adversity has been associated with poor adult health. However, it is unclear whether timing of adversity matters in this association and whether adversity is related to poorer age-related physical health status. A representative sample of the adult Dutch population (N = 3,586, age M = 54.94, age range = 18–92) completed surveys on health and diagnoses of age-related diseases. Information about weight and fat percentage was collected using weighing scales and childhood experiences were assessed retrospectively. Adversity was associated with higher body mass index and fat percentage, more physical problems, and high cholesterol, and this association was most pronounced in individuals with experiences of adversity during early adolescence. In addition, individuals with adversity more often reported physical problems or a medical diagnosis at a younger age. This study indicates that (1) timing of exposure to adversity matters in the relationship between experienced childhood adversity and health and (2) adversity is associated with a higher prevalence of age-related diseases at earlier ages.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1-9
JournalChild Maltreatment
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019

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title = "Childhood adversity and adult health: The role of developmental timing and associations with accelerated aging",
abstract = "Childhood adversity has been associated with poor adult health. However, it is unclear whether timing of adversity matters in this association and whether adversity is related to poorer age-related physical health status. A representative sample of the adult Dutch population (N = 3,586, age M = 54.94, age range = 18–92) completed surveys on health and diagnoses of age-related diseases. Information about weight and fat percentage was collected using weighing scales and childhood experiences were assessed retrospectively. Adversity was associated with higher body mass index and fat percentage, more physical problems, and high cholesterol, and this association was most pronounced in individuals with experiences of adversity during early adolescence. In addition, individuals with adversity more often reported physical problems or a medical diagnosis at a younger age. This study indicates that (1) timing of exposure to adversity matters in the relationship between experienced childhood adversity and health and (2) adversity is associated with a higher prevalence of age-related diseases at earlier ages.",
author = "M.M.E. Hendricx-Riem and A. Karreman",
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N2 - Childhood adversity has been associated with poor adult health. However, it is unclear whether timing of adversity matters in this association and whether adversity is related to poorer age-related physical health status. A representative sample of the adult Dutch population (N = 3,586, age M = 54.94, age range = 18–92) completed surveys on health and diagnoses of age-related diseases. Information about weight and fat percentage was collected using weighing scales and childhood experiences were assessed retrospectively. Adversity was associated with higher body mass index and fat percentage, more physical problems, and high cholesterol, and this association was most pronounced in individuals with experiences of adversity during early adolescence. In addition, individuals with adversity more often reported physical problems or a medical diagnosis at a younger age. This study indicates that (1) timing of exposure to adversity matters in the relationship between experienced childhood adversity and health and (2) adversity is associated with a higher prevalence of age-related diseases at earlier ages.

AB - Childhood adversity has been associated with poor adult health. However, it is unclear whether timing of adversity matters in this association and whether adversity is related to poorer age-related physical health status. A representative sample of the adult Dutch population (N = 3,586, age M = 54.94, age range = 18–92) completed surveys on health and diagnoses of age-related diseases. Information about weight and fat percentage was collected using weighing scales and childhood experiences were assessed retrospectively. Adversity was associated with higher body mass index and fat percentage, more physical problems, and high cholesterol, and this association was most pronounced in individuals with experiences of adversity during early adolescence. In addition, individuals with adversity more often reported physical problems or a medical diagnosis at a younger age. This study indicates that (1) timing of exposure to adversity matters in the relationship between experienced childhood adversity and health and (2) adversity is associated with a higher prevalence of age-related diseases at earlier ages.

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