“Traumatic experiences during childhood are considered a major risk factor for depression in adulthood.”
“Childhood trauma may induce physiological dysregulation with long-term effects of increased allostatic load until adulthood, which may lead to depression. Thus, our aim was to investigate whether allostatic load – which represents a multi-system measure of physiological dysregulation – mediates the association between childhood trauma and adult depression.”

“…..324 depressed inpatients participating in the Munich Antidepressant Response Signature (MARS) project and 261 mentally healthy control participants.”

“…..childhood trauma, i.e., physical and sexual abuse, as predictor variables and an allostatic load index comprised of 12 stress-related biomarkers….”

“….the influence of physical abuse, but not sexual abuse, during childhood on depression in adulthood was mediated by allostatic load. This effect was moderated by age: particularly young (18–42 years) and middle-aged (43–54 years) adults with a history of physical abuse during childhood exhibited high allostatic load, which in turn was associated with increased rates of depression, but this was not the case for older participants (55–81 years).”

“Results support the theoretical assumption of allostatic load mediating the effect of physical abuse during childhood on depression in adulthood.”

“This predominantly holds for younger participants, while depression in older participants was independent of physical abuse and allostatic load. The effect of sexual abuse on depression, however, was not mediated by allostatic load. Identifying allostatic load biomarkers prospectively in the developmental course of depression is an important target for future research.”

S.Scheuer, et al
Childhood abuse and depression in adulthood: The mediating role of allostatic load
Psychoneuroendocrinology — Volume 94 — August 2018 — page 134