Physical, sexual abuse at young age ‘ups diabetes risk in women’

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WASHINGTON - A new study has suggested a co-relation between abuse in childhood and adolescence and the risk of type 2 diabetes in adult women.

“Much, although not all, of this association is explained by the greater weight gain of girls with a history of abuse,” said lead author Janet Rich-Edwards.

“The weight gain seems to start in teenage years and continues into adulthood, increasing the risk of diabetes.

“Weight gain explained only 60 percent of the association, however, implying that the experience of abuse gets incorporated into the body through other mechanisms, as well,” she said.

The reasons for the same, however, are yet to identified clearly.

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

A stunning 54 percent of nurses reported physical abuse and 34 percent reported sexual abuse before age 18. Moderate and severe physical and sexual abuses were associated with 26 percent to 69 percent higher risks of diabetes in maturity.

The findings were reported online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. (ANI)

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