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Childhood adversity is associated with poor cardiometabolic health in adulthood; little is known about how this relationship evolves through childbearing years for parous individuals. The goal was to estimate differences in cardiometabolic health indicators before, during and after childbearing years by report of childhood maltreatment in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) cohort study. Including 743 individuals nulliparous at baseline (1985-1986) with one or more pregnancies >20 weeks during follow-up (1986-2022), we fit segmented linear regression models to estimate mean differences between individuals reporting or not reporting childhood maltreatment (physical or emotional) in waist circumference, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, fasting glucose, and body mass index (BMI) prior to, during, and following childbearing years using generalized estimating equations, allowing for interaction between maltreatment and time within each segment, and adjusting for total parity, parental education, and race (Black or white, self-reported). Individuals reporting maltreatment (19%; 141) had a greater waist circumference (post-childbearing: +2.9 cm, 95% CI (0.7, 5.0), higher triglycerides [post-childbearing: +8.1 mg/dL, 95% CI (0.7, 15.6)], and lower HDL cholesterol [post-childbearing: -2.1 mg/dL, 95% CI (-4.7, 0.5)] during all stages compared to those not reporting maltreatment. There were not meaningful differences in blood pressure, fasting glucose, or BMI. Individuals who reported maltreatment did not report faster changes over time. Differences in some aspects of cardiometabolic health between individuals reporting versus not reporting childhood maltreatment were sustained across reproductive life stages, suggesting potentially persistent impacts of childhood adversity. Copyright © 2024 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Kaitlyn K Stanhope, Erica P Gunderson, Shakira F Suglia, Sheree L Boulet, Denise J Jamieson, Catarina I Kiefe, Kiarri N Kershaw. Childhood maltreatment and trajectories of cardiometabolic health across the reproductive life span among individuals with a first birth during the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study. Preventive medicine. 2024 Mar;180:107894

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PMID: 38346564

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