Childhood sexual, physical abuse linked to alcoholism in women

Thursday, November 18, 2010

WASHINGTON - A new research has revealed that women who suffered sexual or physical abuse as children are more likely to abuse alcohol than are others.

According to the study, women who had been sexually abused as children were more likely to have four or more drinks in a day, be alcohol dependent and report alcohol-related consequences, such as drinking in a way that leads to a serious threat to their physical health.

Lead author E. Anne Lown Dr.P.H., a scientist with the Alcohol Research Group in Emeryville, Calif. and colleagues examined cross-sectional data from the 2005 U.S. National Alcohol Survey, which questioned 3,680 women about physical and sexual child abuse using eight alcohol measures.

Researchers accounted for factors like age, marital status, employment status, education, ethnicity and parental alcoholism.

Certain characteristics of child abuse increased the likelihood that women would report both alcohol-related consequences and alcohol dependence.

These include reporting (1) sexual abuse compared to physical abuse, (2) having two or more abusers, (3) non-parental and non-family physical abusers and (4) injury related to the abuse.

The study appears early online and in the February 2011 issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. (ANI)

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