Tag Archives: Childhood Trauma And Reduced Life Expectancy

Childhood Trauma May Accelerate Ageing Process And Reduce Life Expectancy

 

accelerated aging and childhood trauma

Research conducted by Puterman (University of Columbia, Canada), a specialist in stress and ageing, suggests that those of us who suffered significant trauma and consequential chronic feelings of stress as children may :

a) be more prone to disease and illness as adults

b) live shorter than average lives

 

Why Might This Be?

According to Puterman, this may be due to the adverse effects the stress of our childhoods had on our body’s cells.

More specifically, Puterman suggests that early, protracted exposure to stress may shorten our telomeres (telomeres are located on the end of our chromosomes).

Above : Telomeres under the microscope.

 

Above : Childhood trauma may prematurely age telomeres.

 

Why Do Shortened Telomeres Matter?

Telomeres serve to protect our chromosomes and, if shortened by early life stress, do not perform their task so effectively ; this may lead to the cells in our body ageing and dying prematurely, Puterman suggests.

Puterman is careful to point out, however,  that experiencing stressful events in childhood does not necessarily cause the shortening of telomeres in any simple, direct way, but, rather, the greater the number of traumas we suffer, the greater their duration and the greater their intensity, the higher our risk is that our telomeres will incur damage.

Puterman’s research findings also suggested (based on the study of 4,600 individuals) that social and psychological stressful events that occur during childhood have a more damaging effect on telomeres than do stressors relating to the particular family’s financial situation.

 

Other Ways Childhood Trauma Adversely Impacts Upon Our Physical Health :

We know, too, that those who have experienced significant childhood trauma are more likely than average to :

 

All of the above, of course, may significantly undermine our physical health, and, even, ultimately, lead to terminal disease and illness.

 

RELATED POST :

TO READ MY POST ENTITLED : ‘How Childhood Trauma Can Reduce Our Life Expectancy BY 19 Years‘, CLICK HERE.

 

eBook :

Above eBook now available from Amazon for instant download (other titles available). Click here.

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE)

Effect of Childhood Trauma on Health Throughout Lifetime – Infographic

effect of trauma on health

Severe childhood trauma leading to serious conditions like borderline personality disorder reduces life expectancy, on average, by 19 years (read my article on this by clicking here).

WHAT THE INFOGRAPHIC BELOW SHOWS :

Serious trauma affects neurological (brain) development (click here to read my article on this) which in turn can lead to severe emotional and social/interpersonal difficulties. In order to cope with these problems, the individual may turn to harmful behaviours like excessive drinking, illicit drug use, over-eating and heavy smoking. In turn, this can lead to disease and early death.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

child trauma reduces life expectancy

effects of childhood trauma on physical health

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

 

The Link between Childhood Trauma and Heart Disease – Infographic

In my post entitled ; ‘How Childhood Trauma can Reduce Life Expectancy by 19 Years’, I discussed the relationship between experiencing adverse events in childhood and poor health in later life. In relation to that article, I have presented below a graph that illustrates the relationship between childhood trauma and later risk of heart disease :

adverse childhood events and later heart disease

relationship between childhood trauma and later heart disease