Physical abuse in childhood linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Research carried out by the University of Toronto, published in the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, has found that women who suffered physical abuse in childhood have higher rates of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS). Principle investigator, Professor Esme Fuller-Thompson, says the research has shown that women who reported that they had been physically abused as children have twice the odds of CFS and MCS, and 65% higher odds of fibromyalgia.

In the study, the data from the records of 7,342 Canadian women were examined. Ten percent of the group reported having been physically abused in childhood. When other factors were taken into account, such as other childhood experiences, age, race, mental health and socioeconomic status, childhood physical abuse was significantly associated with CFS, MCS and Fibromyalgia.

The research raises the question of what exactly are the mechanisms linking physical abuse to these functional somatic syndromes (FSS)? Clinicians dealing with patients with FSS should therefore assess for a history of abuse.

Source: The Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma


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First Published in May 2011 ?

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