Exposure to Violence Wears on Children's DNA

Shortened telomere length seen in children exposed to abuse and domestic violence

WEDNESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Children who are exposed to violence have significantly more telomere erosion than their unexposed peers, according to a study published online April 24 in Molecular Psychiatry.

To investigate whether exposure to childhood violence was associated with telomere erosion from age 5 to 10 years, Idan Shalev, Ph.D., from Duke University in Durham, N.C., and colleagues measured telomere length in 236 children, recruited from the Environmental-Risk Longitudinal Twin Study. Telomere length was measured simultaneously from DNA samples taken at baseline (age 5) and follow-up (age 10), using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction technique for T/S ratio. Violence was measured by exposure to maternal domestic violence, repeat bullying victimization, or physical maltreatment by an adult.

The researchers found that 42 percent of the children had experienced one or more violence exposures. Those children who experienced two or more kinds of violence exposure had significantly more telomere erosion from baseline to follow-up compared with their peers. These findings were sustained even after adjusting for sex, socioeconomic status, and body mass index.

"This finding provides support for a mechanism linking cumulative childhood stress to telomere maintenance, observed already at a young age, with potential impact for life-long health," the authors write.

Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles Recommended Nursing Articles

Abdominal Pain: An Approach to a Challenging Diagnosis
AACN Advanced Critical Care, July/September 2014
Free access will expire on October 13, 2014.


HIPAA Compliance Practice Tips
Professional Case Management, July/August 2014
Free access will expire on September 29, 2014.


Follow the leader: How does “followership” influence nurse burnout?
Nursing Management, August 2014
Free access will expire on September 29, 2014.


More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events