The ACE Study

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by quanked, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. quanked

    quanked Member

    Why is this study important? Besides pointing out one of the largest contributor to major health and social problems it provides us one more reason to press those in power to do something for us. The impact on our children is outlined here.


    More info can be found by googling ace study.

    Two more ACE’s have been added to the 9 listed here. One of them is loss of a parent to death and I cannot remember the other one but it may be the presence of a chronically ill family member. I will check my notes.

    What is the ACE Study?

    The ACE Study is an ongoing collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente. Led by Co-principal Investigators Robert F. Anda, MD, MS, and Vincent J. Felitti, MD, the ACE Study is perhaps the largest scientific research study of its kind, analyzing the relationship between multiple categories of childhood trauma (ACEs), and health and behavioral outcomes later in life.

    What's an ACE?

    Growing up experiencing any of the following conditions in the household prior to age 18:

    1. Recurrent physical abuse
    2. Recurrent emotional abuse
    3. Contact sexual abuse
    4. An alcohol and/or drug abuser in the household
    5. An incarcerated household member
    6. Someone who is chronically depressed,mentally ill, institutionalized, or suicidal
    7. Mother is treated violently
    8. One or no parents
    9. Emotional or physical neglect

    The ACE Score

    The ACE Study used a simple scoring method to determine the extent of each study participant's exposure to childhood trauma. Exposure to one category (not incident) of ACE, qualifies as one point. When the points are added up, the ACE Score is achieved. An ACE Score of 0 (zero) would mean that the person reported no exposure to any of the categories of trauma listed as ACEs above. An ACE Score of 9 would mean that the person reported exposure to all of the categories of trauma listed above. The ACE Score is referred to throughout all of the peer-reviewed publications about the ACE Study findings.

    The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted on the links between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. As a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente's Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego, Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) members undergoing a comprehensive physical examination provided detailed information about their childhood experience of abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction. Over 17,000 members chose to participate. To date, over 50 scientific articles have been published and over 100 conference and workshop presentations have been made.

    The ACE Study findings suggest that these experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States. Progress in preventing and recovering from the nation's worst health and social problems is likely to benefit from the understanding that many of these problems arise as a consequence of adverse childhood experiences.

    The ACE Study was initiated at Kaiser Permanente from 1995 to 1997, and its participants are over 17,000 members who were undergoing a standardized physical examination. No further participants will be enrolled, but we are tracking the medical status of the baseline participants.

    Major Findings

    Childhood abuse, neglect, and exposure to other traumatic stressors which we term adverse childhood experiences (ACE) are common. Almost two-thirds of our study participants reported at least one ACE, and more than one in five reported three or more ACE. The short- and long-term outcomes of these childhood exposures include a multitude of health and social problems. The ACE Study uses the ACE Score, which is a count of the total number of ACE respondents reported. The ACE Score is used to assess the total amount of stress during childhood and has demonstrated that as the number of ACE increase, the risk for the following health problems increases in a strong and graded fashion:

    • alcoholism and alcohol abuse
    • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    • depression
    • fetal death
    • health-related quality of life
    • illicit drug use
    • ischemic heart disease (IHD)
    • liver disease
    • risk for intimate partner violence
    • multiple sexual partners
    • sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
    • smoking
    • suicide attempts
    • unintended pregnancies

    In addition, the ACE Study has also demonstrated that the ACE Score has a strong and graded relationship to health-related behaviors and outcomes during childhood and adolescence including early initiation of smoking, sexual activity, and illicit drug use, adolescent pregnancies, and suicide attempts. Finally, as the number of ACE increases the number of co-occurring or “co-morbid” conditions increases.

    Page last reviewed: January 10, 2008
    Page last modified: December 12, 2005
    Content source: Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

    New, 2009

    1. Dube SR, Fairweather D, Pearson WS, Felitti VJ, Anda RF, Croft JB. Cumulative childhood stress and autoimmune disease. Psychom Med. 2009;71, 243-250.

    [This Message was Edited on 11/19/2009]
  2. goodguess25

    goodguess25 New Member

    The question is it the trama or the effects of Complex PTSD that people like me suffer from. Complex PTSD is for people that have faced long term trama over a periode of months or years. I have read that there is chemical and biological changes in the body. Thyroid function also seems to be enhanced in people with PTSD. Some studies have shown that cortisol levels in those with PTSD are lower than normal and epinephrine and norepinephrine levels are higher than normal. I can see how those issue would have an impact on the quality of life.
    [This Message was Edited on 11/21/2009]