Objective: The purpose of the present article was to systematically review the literature investigating the long-term physical health consequences of childhood sexual abuse (CSA).
Methods: Literature searches yielded 31 studies comparing individuals with and without a history of CSA on six health outcomes: general health, gastrointestinal (GI) health, gynecologic or reproductive health, pain, cardiopulmonary symptoms, and obesity. Exploratory subgroup analyses were conducted to identify potential methodological moderators.
Results: Results suggested that a history of CSA was associated with small to moderate group differences on almost all health outcomes assessed, such that individuals with a history of CSA reported more complaints for each health outcome. Suggestive trends in moderating variables of study design and methodology are presented.
Conclusions: Results highlight the long-term physical health consequences of CSA and identify potential moderators to aid in the design of future research.