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Child Abuse Negl. 2008 Sep;32(9):878-87. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2007.11.004. Epub 2008 Oct 22.

Associations of child sexual and physical abuse with obesity and depression in middle-aged women.

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1
Oregon Research Institute, 1715 Franklin Boulevard, Eugene, OR 97403-1983, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Examine whether (1) childhood maltreatment is associated with subsequent obesity and depression in middle-age; (2) maltreatment explains the associations between obesity and depression; and (3) binge eating or body dissatisfaction mediate associations between childhood maltreatment and subsequent obesity.

METHODS:

Data were obtained through a population-based survey of 4641 women (mean age=52 years) enrolled in a large health plan in the Pacific Northwest. A telephone survey assessed child sexual and physical abuse, obesity (BMI>or=30), depressive symptoms, binge eating, and body dissatisfaction. Data were analyzed using logistic regression models incorporating sampling weights.

RESULTS:

Both child sexual and physical abuse were associated with a doubling of the odds of both obesity and depression, although child physical abuse was not associated with depression for the African American/Hispanic/American Indian subgroup. The association between obesity and depression (unadjusted OR=2.82; 95% CI=2.20-3.62) was reduced somewhat after controlling for sexual abuse (adjusted OR=2.54; 1.96-3.29) and for physical abuse (adjusted OR=2.63; 2.03-3.42). Controlling for potential mediators failed to substantially attenuate associations between childhood maltreatment and obesity.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study is the first to our knowledge that compares associations of child abuse with both depression and obesity in adults. Although the study is limited by its cross-sectional design and brief assessments, the fact that child abuse predicted two debilitating conditions in middle-aged women indicates the potential long-term consequences of these experiences.

PMID:
18945487
PMCID:
PMC2609903
DOI:
10.1016/j.chiabu.2007.11.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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