Adverse Childhood Experiences impact future health

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) such as neglect, abuse, household dysfunction, etc. have been found to have a profound impact on health and disease throughout life.

Here is the the link to the ACE Screening Tools and more information.

The higher the ACE Score, the higher the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mental health issues, earlier mortality and more.

Nadine Burke Harris, MD. Photo courtesy of Winokur Photography. Sourced from California’s Surgeon General Readies Statewide Screening for Child Trauma, Jeremy Loudenback, Chronicle of Social Change, Sep. 19, 2019.

Nadine Burke Harris, MD and California’s newly appointed Surgeon General, pushed for ACE scores to be more seriously considered and to increase routine screening, early detection, and early intervention.

Funding has been put forward to reimburse providers for screenings, and towards after school education and safety programs in preschool, early learning, and childcare.

Dr. Harris corrects the assumption that every person who scores positive for ACE needs mental health services: “most patients don’t” she says, and it’s important to know proper next-steps after a positive screening.

The best thing health care providers can do after a positive screening is to educate individuals on which symptoms could be related to a history of adversity, and give them tools they can use to manage and improve outcomes. These are tools like sleep, exercise, nutrition, mindfulness, mental health, and healthy relationships. Most of these tools don’t require a lot of extra resources as some health care professionals may fear.

Read Dr. Harris’ full interview on the Chronicle of Social Change.

For more info, here is the link to an excellent ACE Resource Page

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