By On February 25th, 2008

Childhood abuse increases the cost of healthcare later in life

According to a recent study, childhood abuse increases the cost of healthcare later in life. According to Amy Bonomi, PhD, and colleagues, women who reported childhood abuse had an average of 35% higher costs of healthcare annually in their adult lives. Specifically, women who reported physical abuse had costs that were 22% and higher. Women who reported sexual abuse had costs that were 16% higher. “This study provides the strongest evidence to date about the impact of abuse well into adulthood,” Dr. Bonomi said. This study is different from previous studies in that it reports actual cost increases relative to childhood abuse in females. The follow is an excerpt of an article from Medpage Today the reviews the study:

Dr. Bonomi and colleagues randomly selected women between 18 and 64 who had been members of the health plan for at least three years and conducted a telephone survey to discover the extent of abuse.

Of 6,321 women who were called, 3,333 completed the interview, gave consent for their health records to be used in the study, and met other inclusion criteria.

Their mean age was 47 and on average there was 7.4 years of data for each participant.

The telephone survey found that 34% of the women (1,128) reported at least one form of childhood abuse. Sexual abuse was reported by 671 women, physical abuse by 216, and both by 214.

Combining that information with recorded use of healthcare services, the researchers found that women who suffered both types of abuse were significantly more likely to use mental health services, emergency departments, hospital outpatient departments, pharmacy services, primary care services, and specialty care than were women with no history of abuse.

For instance, they were twice as likely to use mental health services and nearly twice as likely to visit an emergency department. The relative risks were 2.07 and 1.86, with 95% confidence intervals from 1.67 to 2.57 and from 1.47 to 2.35, respectively.

Click here to read the entire article from Medpage Today

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