The *American Journal of Preventive Medicine* issued the following news
release about a study to appear in the November issue:
Traumatic Childhood Might Take Years Off Adult Life
Many U.S. children face a terrible burden of stressors that can harm the
development of their brains and nervous systems.
These stressors can lead to health problems and diseases throughout
their lives, ultimately causing some to die prematurely, according to
the lead author of a new study.
David W. Brown., D.Sc., an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), and colleagues found that children who
were exposed to six or more “adverse childhood experiences” or ACEs were
at double the risk of premature death compared to children who had not
suffered these experiences.
On average, the children at highest risk eventually died at age 60,
compared to low-risk children who lived to age 79.
The study appears in the November issue of the American Journal of
Preventive Medicine.
Conducted by Kaiser Permanente in San Diego and the CDC, the study
looked at the long-term effects of these childhood experiences:
undergoing verbal or physical abuse, having a battered mother and
witnessing domestic violence, living in a household with substance abuse
or mental illness, having an incarcerated household member or having
parents who separated or divorced.
Data came from 17,337 adults who visited Kaiser Permanente from 1995 to
1997 and completed a standardized medical questionnaire that included
questions about their childhood.
Researchers followed participants through the end of 2006, using the
National Death Index to discover who had died.
“Overall, 1,539 people died during follow-up,” Brown said.
“People with six or more ACEs died nearly 20 years earlier on average
than those without ACEs. It is also disturbing that two-thirds of study
participants — persons who were relatively well off — had at least one
of the ACEs.”
“The database of the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, utilized in
this issue by Dr. Brown and his colleagues to demonstrate the link
between childhood adversity and premature death, may ultimately provide
us with most important public health data ever compiled,” said Sandra L.
Bloom, M.D., an associate professor of health management and policy at
Drexel University School of Public Health.
“Our hope is that, as a result of this research, child maltreatment and
exposure to childhood traumatic stress in its various forms will be more
widely recognized as a public health problem,” Brown said.
“It is important to understand that consequences to childhood trauma can
extend over an individual’s life.”
Citation: Brown DW, et al. Adverse childhood experiences and the risk of
premature mortality. Am J Prev Med 37(5), 2009
Ken Pope

The *American Journal of Preventive Medicine* issued the following newsrelease about a study to appear in the November issue:
Traumatic Childhood Might Take Years Off Adult Life
Many U.S. children face a terrible burden of stressors that can harm thedevelopment of their brains and nervous systems.
These stressors can lead to health problems and diseases throughouttheir lives, ultimately causing some to die prematurely, according tothe lead author of a new study.
David W. Brown., D.Sc., an epidemiologist at the Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention (CDC), and colleagues found that children whowere exposed to six or more “adverse childhood experiences” or ACEs wereat double the risk of premature death compared to children who had notsuffered these experiences.
On average, the children at highest risk eventually died at age 60,compared to low-risk children who lived to age 79.
The study appears in the November issue of the American Journal ofPreventive Medicine.
Conducted by Kaiser Permanente in San Diego and the CDC, the studylooked at the long-term effects of these childhood experiences:undergoing verbal or physical abuse, having a battered mother andwitnessing domestic violence, living in a household with substance abuseor mental illness, having an incarcerated household member or havingparents who separated or divorced.
Data came from 17,337 adults who visited Kaiser Permanente from 1995 to1997 and completed a standardized medical questionnaire that includedquestions about their childhood.
Researchers followed participants through the end of 2006, using theNational Death Index to discover who had died.
“Overall, 1,539 people died during follow-up,” Brown said.
“People with six or more ACEs died nearly 20 years earlier on averagethan those without ACEs. It is also disturbing that two-thirds of studyparticipants — persons who were relatively well off — had at least oneof the ACEs.”
“The database of the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, utilized inthis issue by Dr. Brown and his colleagues to demonstrate the linkbetween childhood adversity and premature death, may ultimately provideus with most important public health data ever compiled,” said Sandra L.Bloom, M.D., an associate professor of health management and policy atDrexel University School of Public Health.
“Our hope is that, as a result of this research, child maltreatment andexposure to childhood traumatic stress in its various forms will be morewidely recognized as a public health problem,” Brown said.
“It is important to understand that consequences to childhood trauma canextend over an individual’s life.”
Citation: Brown DW, et al. Adverse childhood experiences and the risk ofpremature mortality. Am J Prev Med 37(5), 2009
Ken Pope

 

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