Women who experienced childhood abuse at higher risk for lupus

Women who experienced physical or emotional abuse as a child demonstrated a significantly increased risk for incident systemic lupus erythematosus, according to data presented by Candace H. Feldman, MD, ScD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

“We embarked on this study because our patients always ask us what causes their lupus,” Feldman said, addressing attendees at the ACR/ARHP 2018 Annual Meeting. “A number of adult rheumatology patients have suffered from trauma or abuse, either in adulthood or childhood, and a number of them have asked me the degree to which this may have contributed to the development of their disease.”

To examine the association between childhood physical, emotional and sexual abuse with the risk for incident SLE among women, Feldman and colleagues gathered data on group of participants in the Nurses’ Health Study II, a longitudinal cohort of female, American-based nurses.

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