A new study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry suggests that those children who develop mental problems due to abuse or other such experiences are more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses later on in their lives.
Researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand analyzed data from World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys which included people from 10 different countries. The researchers checked into mental disorders such as anxiety and depression and also childhood difficulties such as abuse, loss of parent etc.
They found that those who struggled with anxiety and depression in their childhood suffered from chronic illnesses such as osteoarthritis, chronic spinal pain and frequent headache. Those who experienced physical abuse were more likely to develop heart disease, diabetes and asthma.
"These results are consistent with the hypothesis that childhood adversities and early-onset mental disorders have independent, broad-spectrum effects that increase the risk of diverse chronic physical conditions in later life", lead researcher Kate Scott said.