Study: Adulthood trauma can harm seniors' health

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Psychological trauma experienced between 18 and 64 years old can negatively affect seniors' health, according to a study published in the December issue of Psychology and Aging. Trauma can affect disability rates, and the incidence of acute and chronic health conditions, researchers say.

Suffering a serious or life-threatening illness, being in combat or witnessing a violent crime are top negative influencers, according to the study. Healthcare providers inquiring about such instances could gain valuable insight about individual residents and why some residents are more likely to become ill than others, says researcher Neal Krause of the University of Michigan.

Krause and colleagues surveyed 1,518 American adults aged 65 and older to discover if cumulative lifetime trauma influenced health and wellness in later years. The results showed that trauma experienced between 18 and 64 had greater impact on an older person's current health than any childhood instances.