United States: New Study Links Childhood Trauma and Chronic Illness in Adulthood
Friday, October 18, 2013 2:45 PM

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study recently reported a strong connection between childhood trauma and the risk of health problems in adulthood. The ACE study looked at categories of adverse experiences, like abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction, that 17,000 adults had in their first eighteen years of life. The results show that childhood trauma leads to a high risk of adult chronic depression, especially in women. Alcoholism, coronary artery disease, and suicide attempts are all positively correlated with early traumatic experiences. High scores on the ACE scale also led to an almost 20 year reduction in life expectancy.

According to the study, the connection is especially high for childhood victims of sex or labor trafficking. This is due to the disproportionately high rates of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse that the trafficked persons experience. The ACE study further supports that there are long lasting psychological and physiological effects to the trafficking of minors.