Abuse Does More Than Physically and Emotionally Injure a Child

As if abused children didn't have it hard enough.  A new study is saying that their abuse may lead to "long-term hormone impairment that raises the risk of developing obesity, diabetes or other metabolic disorders in adulthood," according to newswise.com.

“The data suggest that childhood adversity places stress on the endocrine system, leading to impairment of important hormones that can contribute to abdominal obesity well into adulthood. This study helps illuminate why people who have dealt with childhood adversity face a higher risk of developing excess belly fat and related health conditions,” the Web site quotes one of the study’s authors, Christos S. Mantzoros, MD, DSc, PhD, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the VA Boston Healthcare System, both affiliated with Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. 

“What we are seeing is a direct correlation between childhood adversity and hormone impairment, over and above the impact abuse or neglect may have on lifestyle factors such as diet and education,” Mantzoros tells newswise.com. “Understanding these mechanisms could help health care providers develop new and better interventions to address this population’s elevated risk of abdominal obesity and cardiometabolic risk later in life.”

According to childhelp-usa.com, a report of a child being abused  happens every 10 seconds (and those are the ones that are reported!).  More than four children every day die of abuse.  Approximately 70% of children who die of abuse are under four.  And 50 to 60 percent of children who die this way do not have it recorded as such on death certificates.

In at least one study, about 80% of 21-year-olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder, the Web site notes.
It very often gets carried on into the next generation, too.  Thirty percent of children who were abused go on to harm their own children.

Thankfully, there are many agencies today to whom abuse can be reported.  Doctors, teachers, ministers, are all mandated reporters.  Hopefully, they step in even when they just suspect abuse is going on.


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