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Does the association of child maltreatment with adult cardiovascular disease differ by gender?
  1. Leah Li1,
  2. Rebecca E Lacey2
  1. 1Population, Policy and Practice Research and Teaching Department, University College London Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom
  2. 2Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom
  1. Correspondence to Dr Leah Li, Population, Policy and Practice Research and Teaching Department, University College London Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, London, UK;{at}

Statistics from

Childhood maltreatment (abuse and neglect) is a preventable risk factor associated with a range of health outcomes. There is now extensive evidence on links between childhood maltreatment and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in adulthood.1 It is known that the occurrence of maltreatment and distributions of some CVD outcomes differ by gender, raising the question as to whether the association of childhood maltreatment with adult CVD differs by gender, and importantly, the reasons and potential mechanisms for such differences. Yet few studies have explicitly compared the association between men and women. Understanding whether gender modifies the relationship will have important implications on deciding whether intervention aiming to reduce the risk of CVD should be tailored differently for maltreated men and women.

Main findings from the UK Biobank

The study by Soares and colleagues2 using the large UK Biobank cohort adds to our understanding on the impact of gender on CVD risk in adults who have experienced maltreatment in childhood. The authors investigated the associations of individual type of maltreatment (also number of types) with three CVD outcomes (hypertensive disease, ischaemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease) and tested gender differences in the associations. The outcomes were derived from both self-reported and objective measures of CVD, the latter of which included hospital and death register data. The large sample size provides statistical power and enables …

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  • Contributors LL wrote the manuscript. REL critically reviewed and revised the manuscript.

  • Funding REL is supported by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (Grant No. ES/P010229/1).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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