10 forms of childhood trauma dramatically increase the risk of 7 out of 10 of the leading causes of death in the United States.
High doses of these traumas impact the brain system, the immune system, and the hormonal system. People exposed to very high doses have a reduced life expectancy of 20 years.
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 study shows us childhood trauma permanently affects the physical, mental, social, and financial health of people who experience it.
The ACEs fit in 3 categories; abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. Each type of maltreatment you have suffered counts as 1 ACE. If you suffered that ACE more than once, it still counts as 1 ACE.
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Having an ACE is common. 2 in every 10 kids are sexually abused. 3 out of 10 kids are physically abused. 1 in every 10 kids are emotionally abused. Many victims suffer multiple forms of abuse and neglect.
These traumas, known as Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACE’s, help doctors treat patients, help survivors protect their health, and demonstrate the cost of childhood trauma to communities both in human suffering and the impact on taxpayers.
Changes in public policy can substantially prevent ACEs and reduce taxpayer burdens.
Childhood trauma has adult consequences
An ACE score of just 1, that’s 6 out of 10 of us, sufficiently traumatizes us so that we are twice as likely to become an alcoholic. Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States: 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence along with several million more who engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems.
The cost of excessive alcohol use in the United States reached $249 billion in 2010, or about $2.05 per drink. Most (77%) of these costs were due to binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined as drinking four or more alcoholic beverages per occasion for women or five or more drinks per occasion for men.
But the harm from ACEs does not stop with alcohol.
Alcohol abuse is not the only threat to your health
As your ACE score grows so do the potential medical and psychological consequences. Knowing your ACE score is the first step in protecting yourself from the consequences.
As your ACE score rises so do your health risks
Checking your score takes minutes and could save you years of your life. The consequences of ACEs are largely preventable. Our simple guide will give you topics to discuss with your doctor, knowing your risk will help you and your doctor have a conversation about preventing your risks. You’ll receive lifetime tips on eating, drinking, exercise, and access to articles on maintaining brain health.