Childhood maltreatment and inflammatory markers: a systematic review
Article first published online: 11 NOV 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume 129, Issue 3, pages 180–192, March 2014
How to Cite
Childhood maltreatment and inflammatory markers: a systematic review., , , , .
- Issue published online: 10 FEB 2014
- Article first published online: 11 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 OCT 2013
- child abuse;
- childhood trauma;
- immune system;
Childhood maltreatment (CM) has been associated with several diseases in adult life, including diabetes, obesity and mental disorders. Inflammatory conditions have been postulated as possible mediators of this relationship. The aim was to conduct a systematic review regarding the association between CM and inflammatory markers in adulthood.
A literature search of the PubMed, ISI, EMBASE and PsychINFO databases was conducted. The key terms used were as follows: ‘Child Maltreatment’, ‘Childhood Trauma’, ‘Early Life Stress’, ‘Psychological Stress’, ‘Emotional Stress’, ‘Child Abuse’ and ‘Child Neglect’. They were cross-referenced separately with the terms: ‘C-reactive Protein (CRP)’, ‘Tumor Necrosis Factor’, ‘Cytokine’, ‘Interleukin’, ‘Inflammatory’ and ‘Inflammation’.
Twenty articles remained in the review after exclusion criteria were applied. Studies showed that a history of CM was associated with increased levels of CRP, fibrinogen and proinflammatory cytokines. Increased levels of circulating CRP in individuals with a history of CM were the most robust finding among the studies. Data about anti-inflammatory mediators are still few and inconsistent.
Childhood maltreatment is associated with a chronic inflammatory state independent of clinical comorbidities. However, studies are heterogeneous regarding CM assessment and definition. Important methodological improvements are needed to better understand the potential impact of CM on inflammatory response.