Relationship between abuse and neglect in childhood and diabetes in adulthood: Differential effects by sex, national longitudinal study of adolescent health

Alexis E. Duncan, Wendy F. Auslander, Kathleen K. Bucholz, Darrell L. Hudson, Richard I. Stein, Neil H. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Introduction: Few studies have investigated links between child abuse and neglect and diabetes mellitus in nationally representative samples, and none have explored the role of obesity in the relationship. We sought to determine whether child abuse and neglect were associated with diabetes and if so, whether obesity mediated this relationship in a population-representative sample of young adults. Methods: We used data from 14,493 participants aged 24 to 34 years from Wave IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to study associations between self-reported child abuse (sexual, physical, or emotional abuse) and neglect as children and diabetes or prediabetes in young adulthood. We conducted sex-stratified logistic regression analyses to evaluate associations in models before and after the addition of body mass index (BMI) as a covariate. Results: Although the prevalence of diabetes was similar for men and women (7.0% vs 6.7%), men were more likely than women to have prediabetes (36.3% vs 24.6%; omnibus P < .001). Among men, recurrent sexual abuse (≥3 lifetime incidents) was significantly associated with diabetes (OR, 3.66; 95% CI, 1.31-10.24), but not with prediabetes. There was no evidence of mediation by BMI. No forms of child abuse or neglect were associated with diabetes or prediabetes among women. Conclusions: Recurrent sexual abuse is robustly associated with diabetes in young adult men, independently of other forms of child abuse or neglect and BMI. Future research should explore other potential mechanisms for this association to identify avenues for prevention of diabetes among men who have experienced sexual abuse.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberE70
JournalPreventing chronic disease
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

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