More than 60% of Americans have experienced at least one instance of adversity in their childhood, including physical, emotional or sexual abuse and parental separation or divorce, according to a study recently published in JAMA Pediatrics. Several studies have shown that a higher number of adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, can jeopardize health in adulthood.
According to the CDC, adults who experienced higher levels of adversity in childhood are more likely to develop obesity, diabetes, depression, suicidality, sexually transmitted diseases, heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and injuries like broken bones. With nearly one-quarter of adults experiencing three or more of these events in their lifetime, screening and prevention are at the forefront of many researchers’ work.
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