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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

WashU: Sexual Abuse Associated with Diabetes in Young Men

Young men who have been sexually abused as children are more likely to have diabetes, according to research from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Alexis Duncan
[Photo: Dr. Alexis Duncan]

Researchers analyzed data from 14,493 participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to study the association between self-reported child abuse and diabetes or pre-diabetes in young adulthood.

They found that among men, recurrent sexual abuse was significantly associated with diabetes. No forms of child abuse or neglect were associated with diabetes or pre-diabetes among women.

The association remained robust and statistically significant even after taking other forms of child abuse and neglect into account and was independent of post traumatic stress disorder.

“Future research should explore other potential mechanisms for this association to identify avenues for prevention of diabetes among men who have experienced sexual abuse,” wrote the study’s lead author, Dr. Alexis Duncan, assistant professor at the Brown School.

The study was published May 7 in Preventing Chronic Disease.

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