(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Child abuse increases the risk of developing cancer in adulthood, according to researchers of Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. This conclusion is based on a study entitled “Does Childhood Misfortune Increase Cancer Risk in Adulthood?,” which was published online in the Journal of Aging and Health on July 4.

In this study, the investigators aimed to address inconsistencies in previous studies on whether childhood misfortune increases adult cancer occurrence. Using longitudinal data from a database known as the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) containing sampled data of 3,032 respondents aged 25 to 74 collected from 1995-1996. “A series of logistic regressions were estimated separately for men and women to test whether the effect of childhood misfortune on adult cancer was largely cumulative or specific to the type or profile of misfortune,” the investigators wrote.

Based on statistical analyses, the following results were reported. “For men, additive childhood misfortune, physical abuse by father, and frequent abuse by either parent increased cancer risk. For women, physical abuse by mother and frequent abuse by either parent increased cancer risk.”

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The investigators concluded: “Additive childhood misfortune predicted cancer for men only, whereas child abuse by parent of the same sex predicted cancer for men and women.”