Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cumulative trauma in adulthood can worsen health in later years

13.12.2004


Cumulative trauma during a person’s lifetime can have an overall effect on health in one’s later years, according to a study that examines the consequences of traumatic events on older adults’ physical health. Also, traumas experienced in adulthood compared to traumas experienced in childhood appear to cause more damage to an older person’s (65 and older) health, say researchers of a new study reported on in the December issue of Psychology and Aging published by the American Psychological Association (APA). Traumas are distinguished from other types of stressful life events by their seriousness, like experiencing a serious or life threatening illness, witnessing a violent crime or being in combat.



In a study of 1,518 older adults from a nationwide survey, researchers Neal Krause, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan, Benjamin A. Shaw, Ph.D., of the University of Albany at SUNY and John Cairney, Ph.D., at Toronto University examined whether cumulative trauma across a person’s lifetime affected a person’s self-rated health, occurrence of acute and chronic conditions and functional disability. Three different ages in the study were examined: young old (65-74), old old (75-84) and oldest old (85 and older).

The results show that trauma occurring between 18 and 30 years and between 31 to 64 years had the greatest affect on the person’s current health. Interestingly, say the authors, adversity encountered in adult life affected adult health more than adversity encountered in childhood. "Trauma could have the same adverse effects on children as adults, but the effects on children may dissipate by the time they reach adulthood, " said Krause.


The young old (age 65-74) seem to be affected the most by their traumatic events and this may be because of historical reasons, said Dr. Krause. This age group grew up after WWII during the Eisenhower years and experienced good economic times for most of their adulthood. "They placed a lot of value on stability and living the American Dream. If and when their expectations and dreams were changed dramatically by a traumatic event, their coping abilities may not have been developed enough to help them. This set them up for health problems in their later years."

The second oldest group – the old old group may have built up some resilience from growing up in a time period that prepared them for later adversities, said the authors. This group faced WWII and was surrounded by all the stresses of war and economic shortages. They were patriotic, self-reliant and had a respect for authority and were able to handle self-sacrifice. These conditions probably helped them develop some resilience against unexpected trauma in their later years, said the authors.

Those born before 1919 (the oldest old) who entered adulthood during the Great Depression – a time of great insecurity – may be similar to the youngest group as far as being more vulnerable to traumatic events. This group was likely to be more afraid of taking risks because of growing up in an economic climate of desperation. According to the authors, this age group may not have mastered certain problem solving skills because of their fear of the unknown. This may have hindered their ability to develop better coping responses to adversity, said the authors.

Some of the 22 traumas examined in the study were: had a spouse die; had a child die; had been in a disaster; had a serious/life-threatening illness; had to repeat a year of school before the age of 18; had either parent experience unemployment for a period of time before the age of 18 or had either parent die before the age of 18.

From these study findings, said Dr. Krause, health practitioners can extrapolate why some older people fall ill while others do not. "It may be necessary to routinely ask older people who are having health problems if they experienced a trauma during the intake examination. Many health care providers already ask about stressful events when taking medical histories but knowing if trauma existed may provide additional insight to a person’s current state of health," said Dr. Krause.

Pam Willenz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.apa.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>