17 May 2011
Strong association between abuse and chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia
Childhood physical abuse appears to be linked to significantly elevated rates of functional somatic syndromes such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivities, say University of Toronto researchers. Their findings are set to be published in the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma.
The study examined a subsample of the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey involving 7,342 women, 10 percent of who reported being physically abused as children.
Lead investigator, Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson, said that women who reported they had been physically abused as children have twice the odds of chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple chemical sensitivities, and 65 percent higher odds of fibromyalgia. "These findings persisted even after controlling for potentially confounding factors such as other adverse childhood experiences, age, race, mental health and adult socioeconomic status," she added.
"But perhaps the most interesting aspects of the research," noted co-researcher Joanne Sulman; "are the questions it raises, such as the mechanisms that link physical abuse to chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivities."
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Source: University of Toronto