Prospective associations of psychosocial adversity in childhood with risk factors for cardiovascular disease in adulthood: The MRC National Survey of Health and Development

Emma L. Anderson*, Rishi Caleyachetty, Mai Stafford, Diana Kuh, Rebecca Hardy, Debbie A. Lawlor, Abigail Fraser, Laura D. Howe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
235 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Studies assessing associations of childhood psychosocial adversity (e.g. sexual abuse, physical neglect, parental death), as opposed to socioeconomic adversity, with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in adulthood are scarce. We aimed to assess associations of various forms of psychosocial adversity and cumulative adversity in childhood, with multiple CVD risk factors in mid-life. Methods: Participants were from the MRC National Survey of Health and Development. Childhood psychosocial risk factors were reported prospectively by parents from 1950-1957, and retrospectively by participants at mean age 43 years in 1989. CVD risk factors were assessed at mean age 60-64 years in 2006-2011. Associations of a summary score of total psychosocial adversity and CVD risk in adulthood were assessed. Results: There was no consistent evidence that cumulative psychosocial adversity, nor any specific form of psychosocial adversity in childhood, was associated with CVD risk factors in late adulthood. There was some evidence that parental death in the first 15 years was associated with higher SBP (Beta: 0.23, 95% confidence interval: 0.06 to 0.40, P=0.01) and DBP (Beta: 0.15, 95% confidence interval: -0.01 to 0.32, P=0.07). Conclusions: We found no evidence that exposure to greater psychosocial adversity, or specific forms of psychosocial adversity during childhood is associated with adult CVD risk factors. Further large population studies are needed to clarify whether parental death is associated with higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number170
JournalInternational Journal for Equity in Health
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2017

Keywords

  • Adversity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Childhood
  • Psychosocial

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