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Past trauma may haunt your future health

February 12, 2021

Adverse childhood experiences, in particular, are linked to chronic health conditions.

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 Image: © Giuda90/Getty Images

A rocky childhood. A violent assault. A car accident. If these are in your past, they could be affecting your present health.

These are all examples of traumatic events — which, in psychological terms, are incidents that make you believe you are in danger of being seriously injured or losing your life, says Andrea Roberts, a research scientist with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Research shows that these events can trigger emotional and even physical reactions that can make you more prone to a number of different health conditions, including heart attack, stroke, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

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