ACEs Research Corner — May 2020


[Editor's note: Dr. Harise Stein at Stanford University edits a web site -- -- that focuses on the health effects of abuse, and includes research articles on ACEs. Every month, she's posting  the summaries of the abstracts and links to research articles that address only ACEs. Thank you, Harise!! -- Jane Stevens]

Williams AB, Smith ER, Trujillo MA, et. al.
Common health problems in safety-net primary care: Modeling the roles of trauma history and mental health. J Clin Psychol. 2019 Jan;75(1):146-164. PMID: 30291736 Of 210 low-income primary care patients, 85% reported adult trauma and 54% reported 4 or more childhood traumas. 59% reported moderate or high depression, and 48% moderate or high anxiety.  A history of trauma was associated with greater presenting health issues including sleep, pain, and general health.

Mwachofi A, Imai S, Bell RA.
Adverse childhood experiences and mental health in adulthood: Evidence from North Carolina. J Affect Disord. 2020 Apr 15;267:251-257. PMID: 32217225 Using data from North Carolina, those with ACEs “experienced significantly more days of poor mental health and had a higher likelihood of depression diagnosis” compared to those without ACEs. 

Lopes S, Hallak JEC, Machado de Sousa JP, Osório FL.
Adverse childhood experiences and chronic lung diseases in adulthood: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2020 Feb 6;11(1):1720336. PMID: 32128046 From a review of research, ACEs were found to be an important risk factor for the development of lung diseases in adulthood, including general respiratory disease, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, whether through direct or indirect contribution (smoking) to this outcome.

Drevin J, Hallqvist J, Sonnander K, et. al.
Childhood abuse and unplanned pregnancies: a cross-sectional study of women in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. BJOG. 2020 Mar;127(4):438-446. PMID: 31802594 Using data from a very large survey of Norwegian mothers, a mother’s childhood emotional, physical and sexual abuse separately increased the risk of having an unplanned pregnancy. “Victims of childhood abuse are in greater need of support to achieve their reproductive goals.”

Macedo BBD, von Werne Baes C, Menezes IC, Juruena MF.
Child Abuse and Neglect as Risk Factors for Comorbidity Between Depression and Chronic Pain in Adulthood. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2019 Jul;207(7):538-545. PMID: 31192794 Of 44 patients being seen for depression, half of whom had chronic pain, a history of childhood emotional neglect was particularly associated with depression and chronic pain.

Houtepen LC, Heron J, Suderman MJ, et. al.
Associations of adverse childhood experiences with educational attainment and adolescent health and the role of family and socioeconomic factors: A prospective cohort study in the UK. PLoS Med. 2020 Mar 2;17(3):e1003031. PMID: 32119668 From a large longitudinal study of British children and families, “This study demonstrates associations between ACEs and lower educational attainment and higher risks of depression, drug use, and smoking that remain after adjustment for family and socioeconomic factors…intervention strategies should target a wide range of relevant factors, including ACEs, socioeconomic deprivation, parental substance use, and mental health.”

Caetano R, Cunradi CB, Alter HJ, Mair C.
Co-Occurrence of Multiple Risk Factors and Intimate Partner Violence in an Urban Emergency Department. West J Emerg Med. 2020 Feb 21;21(2):282-290. PMID: 32191185 The 12-month rate of physical IPV in an urban ED was 23%. IPV likelihood and IPV severity increased with a number of reported risk factors including depression, ACEs, drug use, impulsivity, PTSD, at-risk drinking, and partner’s alcohol use disorder. 

Gilgoff R, Singh L, Koita K, Gentile B, Marques SS.
Adverse Childhood Experiences, Outcomes, and Interventions. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2020 Apr;67(2):259-273. PMID: 32122559 “Because ACEs are a risk factor for health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, asthma, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, it is incumbent on pediatric medical providers to screen and intervene. Primary care is the ideal setting for ACEs screening because interacting with children and their families at regular intervals can allow patients and providers to develop a trusting relationship and address common misconceptions, which can facilitate the disclosure of ACEs and provides an opportunity for education and continued monitoring.” 

Chamberlain C, Ralph N, Hokke S, et. al.
Healing The Past By Nurturing The Future: A qualitative systematic review and meta-synthesis of pregnancy, birth and early postpartum experiences and views of parents with a history of childhood maltreatment. PLoS One. 2019 Dec 13;14(12):e0225441. PMID: 31834894 “Pregnancy, birth and the early postpartum period is a unique life-course healing opportunity for parents with a history of maltreatment. Understanding parent's experiences and views of perinatal care and early parenting are critical for informing the development of acceptable and effective support strategies.”

Randall K, Miller-Cribbs J, Isaacson M, et. al.
Using Social Simulation to Teach Rehabilitation Science Students About Adverse Childhood Experiences and Trauma Informed Care. J Allied Health. 2020 Spring;49(1):36-44. PMID: 32128537 Training information for physical therapy and occupational therapy team members on ACEs and trauma-informed care. 

Brenhouse HC, Bath KG.
Bundling the haystack to find the needle: Challenges and opportunities in modeling risk and resilience following early life stress. Front Neuroendocrinol. 2019 Jul;54:100768. PMID: 31175880 “Various forms of early life adversity (ELA) have been linked with increased risk for negative health outcomes, including neuropsychiatric disorders. Understanding how the complex interplay between types, timing, duration, and severity of ELA, together with individual differences in genetic, socio-cultural, and physiological differences can mediate risk and resilience has proven difficult in population based studies…we highlight the diversity of approaches available, current challenges, and a possible ways forward to increase clarity and drive more meaningful and fruitful implementation and comparison of these approaches.”


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