Study links childhood trauma to COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations

Dec. 1, 2023
New COVID-19 study.

People who endured childhood adversity, like abuse or neglect, were more likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19 in adulthood, a new University of Pittsburgh study found. Specifically, higher self-reported childhood adversity was linked to 12-25% higher odds of COVID-19 hospitalization and mortality.

Using the UK Biobank in Great Britain, a team — lead by Jamie L. Hanson, a researcher in Pitt’s Learning Research & Development Center and an assistant professor in psychology in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences — took a deep dive into information provided by more than 151,200 adults of middle age or older. What the numbers showed was that people who reported “adversity” such as abuse or neglect while children were more likely to die or be hospitalized from COVID-19.

The study was published Nov. 1 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the British Medical Association’s journal focusing on different social determinants of health.

University of Pittsburgh release on Newswise