Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Childhood adversity and women's cardiometabolic health in adulthood: associations with health behaviors, psychological distress, mood symptoms, and personality.



We tested whether childhood adversity is associated with poor cardiometabolic health in adulthood among a sample of overweight or obese Dutch women of reproductive age. Health behaviors, psychological distress, mood symptoms, or personality traits were included as potential mediators.


Data came from a follow-up visit (N = 115), carried out in 2016/2017, of a randomized controlled lifestyle intervention trial in 577 obese infertile women. The associations between total adversity exposure score and cardiometabolic health were tested with regression models. Sleep, smoking and eating behavior, symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress, and personality traits were potential mediators.


Childhood adversity scores were not associated with cardiometabolic outcomes but were associated with poorer sleep quality score (M = 7.2 (SD = 3.5) for those with ≥2 types of events versus 4.8 (2.9) for those with no events; p = 0.022), higher external eating score (26.4 (8.7) versus 21.8 (10.3); p = 0.038), higher perceived stress score (17.1 (6.8) versus 12.3 (4.5); p = 0.016), post-traumatic stress score (1.9 (1.5) versus 0.6 (1.1); p < 0.001), and lower agreeableness score (28.2 (4.2) versus 30.3 (3.1); p = 0.035).


Childhood adversity was associated with poorer health behaviors including sleep and eating behavior, and more stress-related symptoms, but not with women's cardiometabolic health.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View