Pediatrician studies social, economic roots of kids' health issues

Pediatrician Roy Wade Jr. (right) talks with Jurtomu Vesslee, 14, and his father, David, at the Cobbs Creek office of Children's Hospital. MICHAEL PRONZATO / Staff Photographer

Ilene Raymond Rush, For The Inquirer 


As a pediatrician at the Cobbs Creek Primary Care Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Roy Wade Jr. employs the usual tools of his trade, such as thermometer, tongue depressor, and stethoscope.


But as a researcher, he is working to develop a different kind of tool kit: a questionnaire to help pediatricians figure out which of their young patients are at greatest risk to develop early cognitive, emotional, and health problems.


Wade's work builds on the landmark 1998 ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study that showed that the more traumatic events a person experienced in childhood, the worse their health would be in later life.


Generally, the higher the ACEs score, the higher the chances for substance abuse, mental illness, diabetes, cancer - as well as for dropping out of school and living in poverty.

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