Navigation Links
Childhood abuse, adversity may shorten life, weaken immune response among the elderly
Date:8/14/2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio The emotional pains we suffer in childhood can lead to weakened immune systems later in life, according to a new study.

Based on this new research, the amount of this immune impairment even enhances that caused by the stress of caregiving later in life.

"What happens in childhood really matters when it comes to your immune response in the latter part of your life," explained Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Ohio State University. She explained her work at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in San Diego.

The study showed that for some children who experienced serious abuse or adverse experiences as kids, the long-term effect might be a lifespan shortened by seven to 15 years.

Along with research partner Ronald Glaser, director of the Institute of Behavioral Medicine Research, she looked at 132 healthy older adults who averaged 70 years old. Forty-four percent of them served as primary caregivers for family members suffering from dementia, while 56 percent were non-caregivers.

The researchers took blood samples from each person measuring the levels of two cytokines known to be stress markers interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF).

They also used a series of surveys to determine the participants' level of depression, health status, health behaviors and whether they had experienced childhood abuse or neglect. The surveys also looked for adverse events as kids such as the loss of a parent, serious marital problems between parents, or mental illness or alcoholism within their family.

Lastly, from the blood samples they were able to measure the lengths of telomeres, bits of DNA on the ends of chromosomes.

"Every time a cell divides, it loses a little bit of its DNA at the ends," explained Glaser, also a professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics. "So the faster that process takes place, the more DNA is lost, and that's significant." Shortened telomeres have been associated with aging, age-related diseases and death among the elderly.

Nearly one-third of the people in the study said they'd experience some form of physical, emotional or sexual abuse during childhood. Participants who said they'd either been abused or suffered adverse experiences as kids showed higher levels of IL-6 than did those who didn't. Caregivers in that group also had higher IL-6 levels than did those who were not caregivers.

Caregivers who had been abused as children showed higher levels of TNF than non-abused caregivers or controls, whether they were abused or not. Individuals who faced adverse experiences as children showed no significant increase in TNF levels this late stage of life, the study showed.

As might be expected, participants who reported being abused showed greater levels of depression than those who weren't. But those who faced childhood adversity showed no significant increase in depression.

Lastly, the study showed that those participants who had experienced two or more kinds of childhood adversity had telomeres significantly shorter than those who had not.

Moreover, caregivers showed "significantly shorter telomere length than did non-caregiving controls," according to the report.

Earlier research by the research team has shown that caregivers already suffer ill effects from their activities. They have higher rates of depression and poorer health, their wounds heal more slowly, they respond poorly to influenza and pneumonia vaccines, they suffer more inflammation and have higher mortality rates compared to people who are not caregivers.

Kiecolt-Glaser said that the study's findings showed that "differences may be measurable in older adults, and of sufficient magnitude to be discernible even beyond the effects of a notably chronic stressor dementia caregiving."

That these incidents weakened the immune response even more than the stress of caregiving is very significant, given that the inflammation caused by high levels of IL-6 and TNF have been linked to health problems such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, cancers and Alzheimer's disease, they said.

"Childhood adversity casts a very long shadow," she said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Janice Kiecolt-Glaser
Janice.Kiecolt-Glaser@osumc.edu
614-293-3499
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. NASBE Supports First Lady Michelle Obama in Fight Against Childhood Obesity
2. Childhood obesity: Its not the amount of TV, its the number of junk food commercials
3. Planting Seeds to Fight Childhood Obesity
4. PolicyLink CEO Angela Glover Blackwell Released the Following Statement on First Lady Michelle Obamas Childhood Obesity Initiative
5. AMA Joins First Lady in Fight Against Childhood Obesity
6. Soothing infants with food focus of childhood obesity study
7. In Support of the Lets Move Campaign to Fight Childhood Obesity, Verizon Thinkfinity Providing Free Educational Resources on Nutrition and Exercise
8. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation Names Celtics Captain Paul Pierce National Athlete Spokesperson in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity
9. New therapeutic target for most common solid cancer in childhood?
10. High Rates of Childhood Leukemia Seen in Iraq Province
11. International study confirms doubling of childhood leukemia rates in southern Iraq
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Nike Rugby Camp's success is due ... Diego. Willis, founder of Elite Rugby Camps and current Nike Camp director, has offered ... since 2009. , ā€œIā€™m excited for our eighth summer here in San Diego,ā€ ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... ... Washington Wellness Center today announced its tenth anniversary of providing a complete approach to ... idea to provide a holistic approach to wellness has now become a growing trend ... Chiropractic Physician , the wellness center offers a complete range of services such ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... Watsonville, California (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 ... ... powerful formulation of foundational nutrients that supports cellular and metabolic health. This synergistic ... and 400 mg free-form curcumin, along with 150 mg of reduced glutathione and ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... 04, 2016 , ... The preeminent surgical aftercare facility Pearl Recovery Retreat was ... surgery. In March 2016, the 61-year-old model and reality TV star was diagnosed with ... the milk ducts, according to an interview with the Daily Mail Online . ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Warren L. Smith M.D. , There ... UTIs, have plagued people since the beginning of recorded medical history, and in ... every year. It's not just a matter of inconvenience; bladder infections cost us billions ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/2/2016)... Leading Economies with Fastest Real GDP Annual Percentage Change, 2015  ... India 7.3, , Source: IMF and TechSci Research   ... Brazil , Russia , India ... registered the fastest GDP growth during the first decade of the 21 st ... Brazil and Russia , along with ...
(Date:5/2/2016)...  While nearly three-quarters of Americans (71%) are aware ... health, only about half report taking any steps to ... a new survey announced today by Hologic (Nasdaq: ... Osteoporosis Month, Hologic is raising awareness of this major ... Americans. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... The global  ultrasound device ... by 2024, according to a new report published ... the sonography market include expanding applications of the ... periodic ultrasound screenings of the breast for breast ... ) High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: