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Author Notes:

Shakira F Suglia, Email: sfs2150@cumc.columbia.edu

SFS conceptualized and designed the study, conducted the statistical analyses, drafted the initial manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted.

CJC contributed to the interpretation of data analysis, reviewed the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted.

NK contributed to the interpretation of the analysis, reviewed the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted.

RBJ contributed to the interpretation of analyses, reviewed the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted.

KCK conceptualized the study, critically revised and reviewed the manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted.

Special acknowledgment is due Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design.

Information on how to obtain the Add Health data files is available on the Add Health website (http://www.cpc.unc.edu/addhealth).

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Research Funding:

Dr. Suglia was supported by Grant Number 7K01HL103199-03. Dr. Clark was supported by grant numbers 1R03HD068045-01A1 and KL2TR000113.

Dr. Boynton-Jarrett was supported by the William T Grant Foundation and Grant Number K12HD43444.

Dr. Kressin is supported in part by a Senior Research Career Scientist award from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research & Development Service (RCS 02-066-1).

This research uses data from Add Health, a program project directed by Kathleen Mullan Harris and designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and funded by grant P01-HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 23 other federal agencies and foundations.

No direct support was received from grant P01-HD31921 for this analysis.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
  • Child maltreatment
  • Hypertension
  • Violence
  • Stress
  • Blood pressure
  • MEN

Child maltreatment and hypertension in young adulthood


Journal Title:

BMC Public Health


Volume 14, Number 1


, Pages 1149-1149

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Background: Maltreatment during childhood and adolescence has been associated with chronic conditions in adulthood including cardiovascular disease. However, less is known about the effects of childhood maltreatment on cardiovascular risk factors prior to development of cardiovascular disease, or whether these effects are evident in young adulthood. Furthermore, few studies have examined sex differences and most studies have relied on self-reported outcome measures that are subject to misclassification. Methods: We examined the relationship between child maltreatment and hypertension in young adulthood in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a nationally representative school-based sample of US adolescents. Participants retrospectively (mean age 29.9, n = 11384) reported on their experiences of child maltreatment prior to the 6th grade (prior to age 11) during follow-up. Child neglect, physical and sexual violence as well as a measure of social services visits to the home were examined. Blood pressure was measured during an in-home visit. Hypertension was defined as measured SBP of at least 140 mmHg or DBP of at least 90 mmHG measured in adulthood, or self-reported use of antihypertensive medications. Results: In adjusted models, women who experienced sexual abuse in early childhood had a higher prevalence of hypertension (Prevalence Ratio (PR) 1.43 95% CI 1.00, 2.05) compared to women who did not experience sexual abuse. Among men, experiencing sexual abuse was not statistically significantly associated with hypertension. Experiencing neglect, physical abuse or having visitations by social services at home during childhood was not associated with hypertension among either women or men. Conclusion: Sexual abuse in early childhood is associated with hypertension in young women.

Copyright information:

© 2014 Suglia et al.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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