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Causes and risk factors
Childhood trauma predicts onset and recurrence of depression, and comorbid anxiety and depressive disorders
  1. Neeltje Batelaan
  1. Correspondence to Department of Psychiatry, VU-University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; n.batelaan{at}

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ABSTRACT FROM: Hovens JG, Giltay EJ, Spinhoven P, et al. Impact of childhood life-events and childhood trauma on the onset and recurrence of depressive and anxiety disorders. J Clin Psychiatry 2015;76:931–8.

What is already known on this topic?

In the general population, prevalence rates of childhood trauma range from 8.4% for physical abuse, to 17.5% for psychological abuse, with much higher rates in patient samples.1 Trauma in childhood is a developmental risk factor with a negative impact across adulthood and substantially contributes to the burden of disease worldwide.2 Childhood trauma is not only associated with presence of affective disorders.3 One meta-analysis showed that childhood maltreatment predicted persistence of depression, recurrence of depression and worse treatment outcomes (OR 2.34, 2.24 and 1.40, respectively).4

Hovens and colleagues have attempted to unravel the detrimental effects of childhood trauma. They have shown that it is associated with a chronic …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.