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Considerable Mental Health Burden Linked to Childhood Trauma


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By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter>

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16, 2022 — There is a considerable mental health burden in association with childhood trauma, according to a study published online Oct. 31 in The Lancet Psychiatry.

Andreas Bauer, Ph.D., from the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil, and colleagues examined the association between trauma and child psychiatric disorders in a birth cohort in Brazil. Children were assessed for current psychiatric disorders and lifetime trauma exposure when the children were aged 6 and 11 years. The study sample included 4,231 children.

The researchers found that 1,154 of 3,367 (34.3 percent) children with complete data at age 11 years had been exposed to trauma by age 11 years. At age 6 years, trauma was associated with increased odds of anxiety disorders and any psychiatric disorder after adjustment for confounders (adjusted odds ratios, 1.79 and 1.59, respectively); at age 11 years, trauma was associated with any psychiatric disorder (adjusted odds ratio, 1.45) and with all four specific diagnostic classes of anxiety disorders, mood disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and hyperactivity disorders, and conduct and oppositional disorders (adjusted odd ratios, 1.47, 1.66, 1.47, and 1.76, respectively). Increased odds of multiple psychiatric disorders were seen in association with interpersonal trauma and noninterpersonal trauma, even when adjusting for their co-occurrence.

“We found no evidence of differential associations between trauma and mental health outcomes by diagnostic group, supporting a transdiagnostic model of the associations between trauma exposure and mental health problems,” the authors write.

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