We know unhealthy habits often lead to a life of chronic pain, disease, and immune disorders, but many of us don’t think to trace those habits back to childhood.
Research has discovered that our health outcomes are affected more or less harshly depending on how many of the ten types of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) we may have endured during our formative years.
Researchers Vincent Felitti, Robert Anda, and colleagues challenged this belief when they found that Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs, which are traumatic events experienced during childhood, unfortunately have lifelong consequences.
Childhood trauma and heart disease: ACEs at heart
According to the CDC, ACEs are definitively linked to chronic health problems and negative long-term health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease (CVD).
The data shows that even one adverse childhood experience is strongly and independently associated with cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure and obesity.
In fact, 1.9 million cases of heart disease could have been potentially avoided by preventing ACEs and childhood trauma.
That’s right. As you can imagine, the constant exposure to psychosocial and environmental stress across the life of childhood trauma survivors are directly relevant in development of cardiovascular disease.
What are ACEs?
If you’re not familiar with types of ACEs, you can learn about the three categories and ten types of Adverse Childhood Experiences here.
These ten childhood traumas activate stress responses that may have helped a child endure the trauma at the time, but ultimately lead to a life of chronic stress. Our chronic stress responses act in favor of short-term survival but can lead to longterm suffering and chronic illness.
Soothing the heavy heart of childhood trauma
If you suffered even one ACE in your childhood, the information you’ve just discovered about childhood trauma and heart disease can make your own ticker skip a beat.
We want to assure you, though, that there are ways to start healing your heart and ACEs.
More than that, by sharing this important information with your friends and family, you’re taking part in healing and preventing ACEs further down the line. Preventing ACEs and childhood trauma is crucial for the overall health of humanity and creating a more heartful world.
You can also help us prevent childhood trauma and heart disease by learning more about ACEs and our advocacy to prevent them. Join in and sign up for our newsletter here.
Celest Bucknor is actively pursuing her degree in Communications with a minor in English. She is passionate about helping people and making a difference.