Do you know your ACE score?
What in the world is an ACE score?
The CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect and household challenges and later-life health and well-being.
The original study was conducted from 1995 to 1997 with over 17,000 individuals from Southern California. These individuals were receiving physical exams and then completed confidential surveys regarding their childhood experiences and current health status and behaviors.
Almost two-thirds of participants reported at least 1 ACE, and more than 1 in 5 reported 3+ ACEs. Some populations are more vulnerable to experiencing ACEs because of the social and economic conditions in which they live, learn, work and play.
Because the ACE Study suggests that there is a significant link between adverse childhood experiences and chronic disease in adulthood, including heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases, the questionnaire may be able to help those who have a high ACE score become more informed about their increased risk factor for health issues. It could also encourage them to seek treatment or therapy if they have not already done so.
Additionally, the study highlights how these childhood experiences influence the possible development of mental health issues in adulthood and may serve to assist professionals in better understanding certain mental health concerns.
The connection between adverse childhood experiences, social issues, and adult mental and physical health might also be used to help inform programs and health policies that support prevention of these issues and recovery from them.
Curious about your ACE score?