Toronto [Canada]July 10 (ANI): Researchers at the University of Toronto recently conducted a study that found that elderly people who were physically abused as children are significantly more likely to develop chronic pain and other physical ailments as they age.

The results of the study were published in the journal “Aging and Health Research”.

Compared to those who had not experienced this early trauma, they had twice the risk of developing depression and anxiety disorders.

“Unfortunately, our results suggest that traumatic experiences of physical abuse in childhood can affect both physical and mental health many decades later. It also highlights the importance of assessing adverse childhood experiences among patients of all ages, including the elderly,” said Anna Burman. , who began this research for her thesis in the Bachelor of Arts and Sciences program at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, and is a research fellow at the University of Toronto’s Aging Life Institute.

Physical illnesses that developed included diabetes, cancer, migraines, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The link between childhood abuse and poor physical and mental health persisted even after accounting for income, education, smoking, drinking and other causes of poor health.

“Healthcare professionals who care for older adults need to know that it’s never too late to refer people for counseling. A promising intervention is cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT]has been tested and found to be effective in reducing post-traumatic stress disorder and symptoms of depression and anxiety among survivors of childhood abuse,” said co-author Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson, who led Boorman’s dissertation research.

Cross-sectional research could not identify the specific pathways through which childhood physical abuse affects a person’s health later in life. Current research shows that childhood physical abuse affects several physiological changes, including the dysregulation of systems that regulate the body’s response to stress.

Future prospective studies examining disruptions in these systems, which are already associated with some physical and mental illnesses, such as abnormal cortisol levels, may help shed light on the experiences of victims of childhood abuse.

Data for this study were drawn from a representative sample of adults aged 60 years and older in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It compared 409 older adults who reported being physically abused as children with 4,659 of their peers who reported not being physically abused as young adults. Data were taken from the Canadian Public Health Survey. (ANI)

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