Early relationships have a modeling effect on multiple aspects of mental and somatic health. This paper aims at examining evidence of the associations between aversive childhood relationships and disease risk factors in adulthood from experimental, observational, and epidemiologic studies. Particular attention has been paid to the links with epigenetic modifications (DNA methylation and telomere length). Results from literature shows that early relations have detrimental long-life effects on the individual physical health and that it was likely due to biological reprogramming through epigenetic mechanisms and their interactions with the nervous and immune systems.
Keywords: Attachment, brain functioning, immune system, epigenetics.