Abuse and adversity in childhood linked to more cardiovascular risk in adulthood

Boys playing basketballAmerican Heart Association Scientific Statement

DALLAS, Dec. 18, 2017 – Children and teens who are abused, witness violence, are bullied or face other adversities are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases in adulthood, according to a new scientific statement by the American Heart Association published in the Association’s journal Circulation.

The statement is based on a review of existing scientific research published in peer-reviewed medical journals that documents a strong association between adverse experiences in childhood and teen years and a greater likelihood of developing risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes earlier than those not experiencing adverse experiences. These risk factors raise the likelihood of developing heart and blood vessel diseases and conditions in adulthood, including coronary artery disease, heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

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