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Ann Clin Psychiatry. 2010 Feb;22(1):19-28.

Early childhood adversity and later hypertension: data from the World Mental Health Survey.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Cape Town, Groote Schur Hospital, Anzio Road, Cape Town, South Africa. dan.stein@uct.ac.za

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although many studies have indicated that psychosocial factors contribute to hypertension, and that early childhood adversity is associated with long-term adverse mental and physical health sequelae, the association between early adversity and later hypertension is not well studied.

METHOD:

Data from 10 countries participating in the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health (WHM) Surveys (N = 18,630) were analyzed to assess the relationship between childhood adversity and adult-onset hypertension, as ascertained by self-report. The potentially mediating effect of early-onset depression-anxiety disorders, as assessed by the WHM Survey version of the International Diagnostic Interview (WMH-CIDI), on the relationship between early adversity and hypertension was also examined.

RESULTS:

Two or more early childhood adversities, as well as early-onset depression-anxiety, were significantly associated with hypertension. A range of specific childhood adversities, as well as early-onset social phobia and panic/agoraphobia, were significantly associated with hypertension. In multivariate analyses, the presence of 3 or more childhood adversities was associated with hypertension, even when early-onset depression-anxiety or current depression-anxiety was included in the model.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although caution is required in the interpretation of self-report data on adult-onset hypertension, the results of this study further strengthen the evidence base regarding the role of psychosocial factors in the pathogenesis of hypertension.

PMID:
20196979
PMCID:
PMC3486699
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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