Study reveals link between childhood abuse and higher arthritis risk in adulthood

In a survey-based study of 21,889 adults in Canada, severe and/or frequent physical abuse during childhood and frequent childhood exposure to intimate partner violence were linked with higher risk of arthritis during adulthood, even after controlling for a range of factors. The findings are published in Arthritis Care & Research.

The link may be due to potentially enduring immune and metabolic abnormalities caused by severe childhood abuse that might play a role in the pathogenesis of arthritis.

“The link may be due to potentially enduring immune and metabolic abnormalities caused by severe childhood abuse that are similar to those that have been suggested might play a role in the pathogenesis of arthritis,” said lead author Dr. Elizabeth Badley of the Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto. “The link may also be an indicator of the role joint injury has in causing osteoarthritis, by far the most frequent type of arthritis.”

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