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Title: The association between intimate partner violence against women and newborn telomere length
Authors: Chan, KL 
Lo, CKM 
Ho, FK
Leung, WC
Yee, BK 
Ip, P
Issue Date: 2019
Source: Translational psychiatry, Sept. 2019, v. 9, 239, p. 1-8
Abstract: Intimate partner violence (IPV) against women negatively impacts infant health. However, its impact on infant's biology, in particular on telomere length (TL) is unknown. The aim of this study was to examine the association between IPV against women before childbirth and cord blood TL in their newborn. A total of 774 pregnant women in the 20th-24th week of gestation were recruited at a public hospital in Hong Kong. The mothers' exposure to IPV before childbirth, demographic characteristics, obstetric outcomes, health and mental health were measured at the time of recruitment and 4 weeks after childbirth. Umbilical cord blood was collected by midwives at the time of delivery. The newborn TL was quantified using quantitative PCR method and expressed in T/S ratio (the ratio of telomere repeat copy numbers to single-copy gene numbers). After adjusting for a number of confounding variables, the mothers' exposure to any IPV before childbirth (beta = -0.08, 95% CI = -0.14, -0.01) was associated with shorter TL. Specifically, psychological abuse against women before childbirth (beta = -0.08, 95% CI = -0.15, -0.02) and sexual abuse against women before childbirth (beta = -0.22, 95% CI = -0.43 to -0.01) were significantly associated with reduced newborn TL. This study is the first to provide evidence of an association between IPV against women before childbirth and TL shortening in their newborns. Through TL-dependent transcription and epigenetic mechanisms, our finding suggests maternal exposure to IPV may exert a life-long impact on the offspring's health.
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Journal: Translational psychiatry 
EISSN: 2158-3188
DOI: 10.1038/s41398-019-0575-6
Rights: © The Author(s) 2019
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly fromthe copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
The following publication Chan, K.L., Lo, C.K.M., Ho, F.K. et al. The association between intimate partner violence against women and newborn telomere length. Transl Psychiatry 9, 239 (2019), 1-8 is available at https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-019-0575-6
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