Adverse childhood experiences could be important determinants of adult disease. The present study analyzed the association between early traumatic experiences and the onset of cardiovascular disease (CVDs). It was hypothesized that patients with CVD would report a higher number of traumatic experiences during childhood and that this association would be stronger in women. The Traumatic Experiences Checklist (TEC) was fulfilled by 75 patients with a first-time diagnosis of CVD and 84 healthy controls randomly selected from the general population. The two groups were not balanced for age and sex. Multivariate analyses of covariance (MANCOVAs) and analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs), with group (clinical vs. control) and gender (male vs. female) as between-subjects factors, and age of participants as covariate, were performed on the number and the impact of the traumatic experiences (emotional neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse) for the three age group in which the trauma was experienced (from 0 to 10, from 11 to 18, from 19 years onwards). The main results showed that participants with CVDs have experienced a higher number of early traumatic experiences compared to the control group, such as emotional neglect (p = 0.023), emotional abuse (0.008 ≤ p ≤ 0.033), and physical abuse (0.001 < p ≤ 0.038). The results also revealed that women with CVDs have experienced more traumatic events compared to the women of the control group (0.001 < p ≤ 0.020). These results seem to highlight an association between traumatic experiences in childhood and CVD in adulthood, par-ticularly in women. Such findings could have relevant implications for clinical practice, suggesting the importance of adopting an integrated approach in the care of the patient with cardiovascular diseases paying attention also to the clinical psychological risk factors.
Psychological traumas and cardiovascular disease: A case-control study / Galli, F.; Lai, C.; Gregorini, T.; Ciacchella, C.; Carugo, S.. - In: HEALTHCARE. - ISSN 2227-9032. - 9:7(2021), pp. 1-13. [10.3390/healthcare9070875]