It has been known that - Helicobacter pylori, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use and smoking are the most important risk factors for peptic ulcer; alcohol intake may be held responsible in the development of gastric ulcers; and even psychological stress doesn't spare us ulcer distress. But childhood adversities? Can difficult childhoods, which include financial problems, conflicts in the family, problems with alcohol, and matters of personal security, be associated with peptic ulcer?
A research article to be published on July 21,2009 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. Dr. Markku Sumanen and his colleagues of the Health and Social Support Study (HeSSup) investigated this subject in a nationwide sample of working-aged people in Finland. The participants were asked whether or not a doctor had told them that they have or have had a peptic ulcer. They were also asked to think about their childhood adversities in terms of the following questions: 1) "Did your parents divorce?" 2) "Did your family have long-lasting financial difficulties?" 3) "Did serious conflicts arise in your family?" 4) "Were you often afraid of some member of your family?" 5) "Was someone in the family seriously or chronically ill?" 6) "Did someone in the family have problems with alcohol?"
According to the findings there is reason to believe that stress factors during childhood maintain a connection with the development of peptic ulcers. Childhood adversities are not necessarily true risk factors for peptic ulcer, but may play a predictive role in the development of the disease. A more comprehensive understanding of peptic ulcer patients is worth aspiring to.