Study Links Childhood Neglect to Strokes Later in Life

Although it seems improbable, Robert S. Wilson, Ph.D., of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and his colleagues say that they found a correlation between childhood emotional neglect and a higher risk of suffering a stroke later in life.

The researchers conducted an observational study that examined the relationship between childhood adversity—here they included a number of subgroups, including parental intimidation, parental violence, emotional neglect, family turmoil and financial need—and stroke later in life. They found that only one of the subgroups explored—emotional neglect—could be associated with stroke.

This was true even after they adjusted for vascular risk factors—smoking, diabetes, etc. and for other risk factors, including high blood pressure and body mass index.

The study involved more than 1,000 participants in the Rush Memory and Aging Project, which began in 1997, and the findings have been published in the journal Neurology.

Despite the findings, researchers can't exactly explain the association.

In an accompanying editorial, Kevin M. Barrett, MD, MSc, and James F. Meschia, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. wrote that these findings "add to a growing body of evidence suggesting a link between traumatic childhood experiences and physical illness in adulthood."

Source: MedPage Today
Photo: Pexels

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