Childhood Physical Abuse Linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Published: August 10, 2012

A study shows that childhood physical abuse might significantly increase the risk of functional somatic syndromes such as CFS, fibromyalgia, and multiple chemical sensitivities among women. The new study by researchers from the University of Toronto will be published in the May issue of the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma.

In the study, over 7,000 women who had participated in a 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey were assessed for histories of child abuse. Approximately 10% of these women reported experiencing physical abuse as children. "Women who reported they had been physically abused as children have twice the odds of chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple chemical sensitivities, and 65% higher odds of fibromyalgia" says lead investigator Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson, who holds the Sandra Rotman Chair at U of T's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Department of Family and Community Medicine.

You can read the full study report at ScienceDaily.


Esme Fuller-Thomson, Joanne Sulman, Sarah Brennenstuhl, Moeza Merchant. Functional Somatic Syndromes and Childhood Physical Abuse in Women: Data From a Representative Community-Based Sample. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 2011; 20 (4): 445 DOI: 10.1080/10926771.2011.566035.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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