Scientists from University College London analyzed data from 9.3 thousand participants in a nationwide study of child development in the UK, born in 1958. When they were 7 and 11 years old, polls were conducted among their parents and teachers, the purpose of which was to find out signs of any pressure on children and neglect of their interests.
At the age of 45, researchers asked study participants if they had experienced sexual, physical or psychological abuse before the age of 16, and if they had witnessed abuse of other family members. The volunteers were monitored for years, recording deaths from all causes in this cohort.
After the end of the observation period, scientists found that people who had experienced sexual abuse in childhood and adolescence had twice the risk of dying between the ages of 45 and 58 compared with those who did not. Physical abuse increased the likelihood of dying in his prime by 1.7 times.
Participants who reported that they were often left without parental supervision and care during childhood had a 1.4 times higher risk of early death compared to people whose childhood was more prosperous. A childhood in need and poverty almost doubles this probability – 1.9 times.
At the same time, scientists did not find a connection between psychological abuse and evidence of abuse of family members with the risk of early death.
“Our work shows the long-term consequences that certain types of child abuse and neglect can have. These findings are especially important because these early adversities are common and affect millions of people, ”the study authors said.