The emotional bond with parents favors the child’s future cardiovascular health – Health and Medicine

by time news

2024-02-12 00:43:36

The stable relationship in the family environment positively influences the child’s future cardiovascular health. Therefore, measures are proposed to promote these links.

Adversities experienced during childhood can undermine cardiovascular health in adulthood, just as stable and loving relationships with caregivers, usually parents, play a protective role and increase the possibility of optimal cardiac health.

These are some conclusions from the research published Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomesscientific journal of the American Heart Society (AHA) together with the American Stroke Association (ASA) and which, according to the researchers, would be the first study to identify a link between the childhood family environment and cardiovascular health at different times in adult life.

Using the records of the CARDIA study, funded since 1982 by the US government to identify risk factors that contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease, the researchers sought to quantify the association between adverse childhood experiences and the degree of caregiver affection, assessing its impact. in adult health.

The results suggest that a positive and warm relationship between the caregiver and the child would increase the probability of ideal cardiac health in adulthood, while those who have experienced more adversities have a less promising cardiovascular future. On the other hand, it has been seen how the association between scarcity of economic resources and bad childhood experiences can impact adult heart health.

“We knew that early childhood health lays the foundation for a healthier future, and we have found that the way children interact with adults can also have an impact,” says Robin Ortiz, principal investigator of the study.

This professor of Pediatrics and Public Health at Grossman University in New York suggests that adults who have children in their care receive support to foster safe, stable and affectionate relationships with them, “as a way to create healthy habits in childhood that last until Adulthood”. And based on the results obtained, she adds that health professionals “should take into account the health and well-being of the home when addressing cardiovascular health at any age.”

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THE BURDEN OF NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES

A body of scientific literature had already recognized that childhood adversities (child abuse, dysfunctional home, bullying, exposure to crime, discrimination, prejudice, and victimization) can be social determinants of cardiovascular disease.

There are enough studies that associate these negative childhood experiences with a higher risk in adulthood of mental health disorders, substance abuse and suicide attempts, but also of chronic heart diseases, obesity, diabetes and cancer, as well as premature mortality.

The American Negative Childhood Experiences (ACE) study concluded that adults who had experienced these adversities had a higher risk of stroke, ischemic heart disease and myocardial infarction. In another study, these childhood experiences are related to cardiometabolic risk in adulthood.

But knowledge of how bad experiences influence future ideal cardiovascular health is still very early, and researchers believe that to achieve that ideal state, the search for family support mechanisms should be strengthened.

The authors of the editorial that accompanies the article emphasize that this study expands the way of conceiving adversity by considering the frequency of the child’s negative experiences, something not taken into account in previous works. The Risk Family Environment Questionnaire was used to retrospectively assess the frequency of emotional and/or physical abuse, substance use in the home, and adult affection before age 18.

It was observed that for each negative episode the probabilities of achieving good cardiovascular health decreased by 3.6%, a percentage that in child abuse rises to 13%.

It is also known that these associations can be driven by physiological, psychological and behavioral factors. According to Shakira Suglia, editorialist and professor of Public Health at Emory University (Atlanta), the physiological implication would demonstrate that “traumatic experiences in childhood promote a pro-inflammatory state and deregulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathetic and adrenomedullary system. , which may influence the development of cardiometabolic risk factors.” Pilar Laguna

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