Child maltreatment, psychopathological symptoms, and onset of diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism and COPD in adulthood
AuthorSheikh, Mashhood Ahmed
Background: The aim of this study was to assess the associations between child maltreatment (CM), psychopathological symptoms, and onset of diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism (i.e., low metabolism), and chronic bronchitis/emphysema/COPD in adulthood.
Methods: The present analysis used cross-sectional data collected in 2007–2008 within the Tromsø Study, Norway (N = 12,981). CM was measured with a single item, and self-reported information on psychopathological symptoms and physical health outcomes was used. The associations between CM, psychopathological symptoms, and physical health outcomes were assessed with linear and Poisson regression models. Mediation was assessed with difference-in-coefficients method.
Results: In the fully-adjusted models, CM was associated with higher levels of anxiety and depression, psychological distress, difficulty in sleeping, insomnia, and use of sleeping pills and antidepressants in adulthood (p < 0.05). Moreover, CM was associated with a more than two-folds increased risk of consultation with psychiatrist (p < 0.001), a 26% increased risk of forgetfulness (p < 0.001), a 15% increased risk of decline in memory (p < 0.001), and a 96% increased risk of psychiatric problems (p < 0.001) over the course of life. In the fully-adjusted models, CM was associated with a 27–82% increased risk of physical health outcomes in adulthood (p < 0.05). Indicators of psychopathological symptoms significantly (p < 0.05) mediate the associations between CM and physical health outcomes.
Limitations: The design of this study is cross-sectional, and all measures are self-reported.
Conclusion: The associations between retrospectively-reported CM and physical health outcomes in adulthood are partially driven by psychopathological symptoms in adulthood.