208621 Impact of early life abuse on overall and central obesity in adulthood: Results from the Black Women's Health Study

Monday, November 9, 2009: 12:50 PM

Renee Boynton-Jarrett, MD, ScD , Department of General Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine/Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA
Lauren A. Wise, ScD , Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, Boston, MA
Julie R. Palmer, ScD , Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, Boston, MA
Deborah A. Boggs, MS , Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, Boston, MA
Min-Ting Lin, MSc , Health Policy and Mangement, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Lynn Rosenberg, ScD , Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, Boston, MA
Objective: To investigate the association between physical and sexual abuse in childhood and adolescence on risk of overall and central adiposity among Black women in the U.S.

Methods: Participants were 33,298 women enrolled in the Black Women's Health Study, an ongoing cohort study begun in 2005, who completed a retrospective questionnaire on early-life experiences of abuse in 2005. A cumulative indicator of severity of child/teen abuse was derived using factor analysis. Log-binomial regression models were used to derive risk ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the relation between child/teen abuse and obesity in adulthood (BMI≥30, in 2005) and central adiposity (waist circumference>35 inches, in 2005).

Results: The RR for obesity was 1.19 (CI=1.13, 1.25) for women reporting severe physical and sexual abuse relative to no abuse, After control for postulated intermediates, including reproductive history, diet, physical activity, depressive symptoms, and demographics, the RR was 1.06 (CI=1.03, 1.10). The RR for waist circumference >35 inches for severe physical and sexual abuse relative to no abuse was 1.23 (CI 1.17-1.30) before adjustment for intermediates and 1.12 (CI=1.07,1.18) after adjustment. Similar results were observed among nonsmokers.

Conclusions: Sexual and physical child/teen abuse was associated with an increased risk of overall and central obesity. While the association between abuse and obesity was largely accounted for by health behaviors, reproductive history, and mental health, these factors did not fully account for the associations. Our data suggest that early life adversity is related to adult body size and weight distribution.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe associations between early life adversities and body mass index and weight distribution in adulthood. 2. Formulate hypotheses regarding psychosocial and psychobiological pathways between child maltreatment and obesity risk.

Keywords: Child Abuse, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Education: 2004 Sc.D. Harvard University School of Public Health, Social Epidemiology; 2004 M.D. Yale University School of Medicine; 1997 A.B. Princeton University, Magna Cum Laude in Anthropology. Academic Appointment: 2007 – present Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine. 7/2004 – 6/2007: Pediatrics Residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD. Selected peer-reviewed publications: Boynton-Jarrett R, Thomas T, Peterson K, Weicha J, Sobol A, Gortmaker S. “The Impact of Television Viewing Patterns on Fruits and Vegetable Consumption among Adolescents,” Pediatrics, 2003; 112: 1321-1326. Boynton-Jarrett R, Rich-Edwards J, Malspeis S, Missmer SA, Wright R. “A Prospective Study of Hypertension and Risk of Uterine Leiomyomata,” American Journal of Epidemiology, 2005; 161:628-638. Jun HJ, Rich-Edwards JW, Boynton-Jarrett R, and Wright RJ. “Women’s Experience with Battering and Cigarette Smoking: Added Risk Related to co-occurrence with other forms of Intimate Partner Violence.” American Journal of Public Health 2008; 98(3): 527-35. Jun HJ, Rich-Edwards JW, Boynton-Jarrett R, and Wright RJ. “Child Abuse and Smoking among Young Women: The Importance of Severity, Accumulation, and Timing of Abuse,’ Journal of Adolescent Health, 2008; 43(1): 55-63. Boynton-Jarrett R, Ryan L, Berkman L, Wright RJ, “Cumulative Exposure to Violence and Self-Rated Health: A Longitudinal Study of Adolescents in the United States,” Pediatrics, 2008; 122(5): 961-970.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Social Epidemiology
See more of: Epidemiology