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Childhood adversity increases risk of cardiovascular disease

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Recent studies show that childhood adversity increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

CVD is now the leading cause of death worldwide, and CVD rates among young adults are rising over time. Although genetic factors have been linked to her CVD, researchers hypothesized that environmental and behavioral factors also influence her CVD risk.

Adversity is associated with CVD in middle-aged and older adults, but few data have been collected on the impact of childhood adversity on CVD in young adults. Multiple internal systems develop throughout childhood, including physiological stress responses. The development of this system can be affected by frequent exposure to adversity.

Binge eating, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking are all behaviors associated with CVD, and childhood adversity is associated with an increased risk of these behaviors. However, the impact of childhood adversity on congenital etiology is still unclear.

Researchers conduct a population-based cohort study to examine the impact of childhood adversity on CVD in individuals aged 16-38 years with a focus on ischemic heart disease (IHD) and cerebrovascular disease (CD) Did. Data were collected from the DANish LIFE course cohort with information from multiple registers nationwide.

Information on child adversity, morbidity, and mortality for children born between 1 January 1980 and 31 December 2001 was obtained for the study. Participants lived in Denmark until their 16th birthday without a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease or congenital heart disease. The final study population included 1,263,013 individuals.

Corpses were classified into three categories: family loss or threat of loss, family dynamics, and material deprivation. Family poverty and long-term parental unemployment were examples of material deprivation, while physical illness and death of parents and siblings were the loss or threat of loss of family members.

Family dynamics include parental alcohol and drug abuse, foster care, parental and sibling mental illness, and mother-child separation.

CVD as a case of IHD or CD was the primary outcome. Covariates included date of birth, paternal date of birth, parental country of origin, and parental cardiometabolic disease. Adjustments were made for the effects of being small for gestational age at birth and parental education at birth.

Participants’ average follow-up was 10.8 years from their 16th birthday. During this follow-up period, 4118 participants developed his CVD, of which 966 developed his IHD and 3152 developed CD. There were 5,178 deaths from causes other than CVD and 96,812 immigrants from the pre-follow-up study.

Participants were more likely to face adversity if born to teenage mothers, and the risk of persistent deprivation was higher in this group. Material deprivation was also common in children born to non-Western parents.

Parental cardiometabolic disease was seen in 24% of participants with material deprivation, 36% with loss or threatened loss, 39% with great disadvantage, and 21% with low disadvantage. rice field. Low parental education was found in 8% of participants in the low adversity group and 54% of the high adversity group, and low gestational age was found in 11% of the low adversity group and 22% of the high adversity group. I was.

People with more adversity had a higher risk of developing CVD, with 10 to 18 extra cases per 100,000. Men and women in the loss or loss threat groups had 15.6 and 9.7 more her CVD cases per 100,000, respectively. Individuals who experienced material deprivation early in life were also more likely to develop CVD, although their risk was slightly higher than average.

Because high levels of childhood adversity are associated with the greatest risk of CVD, the researchers recommended that efforts to provide support to affected families could reduce rates of long-term cardioprotection. .


Bengtsson J, Elsenburg LK, Stig Andersen G, Lytken Larsen M, Rieckmann A, Hulvej Rod N, Adversity in childhood and cardiovascular disease in early adulthood: a Danish cohort study. European Heart Journal2022. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehac607

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