Smacking link to adult cancers improbable

NHS UK News 14 November 2012
Smacking increases cancer risk’, the Daily Express boldly reports, while The Sun believes that smacking can also increase the risk of asthma or heart disease. These reports exaggerate a piece of research that has significant limitations.The news is based on a study that asked a sample of Saudi Arabian adults with cancer, asthma or heart disease how frequently they had been physically punished or verbally insulted as a child (referred to in the papers as smacking and shouting). The researchers then looked at whether there was a link between the two, comparing these adults with healthy controls. They found that reported physical punishment and insult was associated with an increased risk of developing adult cancer, asthma and heart disease.