“The ACE Study provides population-based evidence that unrecognized adverse childhood experiences are a major, if not the major, determinant of who turns to psychoactive materials and becomes addicted. Dr. Vincent Felitti
The Adverse Childhood Experience Study examined the relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and later behaviors and health outcomes. It is the largest study looking at short- and long-term impacts of childhood trauma ever done.
The principal investigators were Dr. Vincent Felitti, founder and child of Kaiser Permanent’s Preventative Medicine Department, and Dr. Robert Anda with the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service.
More than 17,000 members of the Kaiser Health Plan in San Diego filled out a survey measuring the number of adverse childhood experiences. The survey focused on 10 types of trauma.
Surveys were completed between 1995 and 1997. Most study subjects were white, educated and middle class.
The ACE Study revealed that adverse childhood experiences are common, although typically concealed and unrecognized. Nearly two thirds of participants reported at least one Ace, and more than one in five reported threes or more ACEs.
The study linked childhood trauma to a range of health and social outcomes including:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Illicit drug use
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Adolescent pregnancy
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Intimate Partner violence
- Health-related quality of life
In addition, as the number of ACE’s increase, so does the level of risk for each of the health issues in a strong a graded fashion.
Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Questionnaire: Finding your ACE Score –> Take Questionnaire Now