Trauma childThe effect of unresolved emotional trauma from childhood on health across a lifetime is possibly the most under-exposed risk factor for all major chronic health conditions in the world today. Huge studies by the CDC and Kaiser Permanente starting with 17,000 adults in the mid 1990s confirm stunning statistics.

No patient can afford to ignore the impact of “adverse childhood events” or “ACEs” on their health, and we must ensure more and more health practitioners become “ACE aware.”


The studies showed that 67% of all adults had experienced at least 1 ACE. Of those, 80% had experienced more than one ACE.

Having a high level of ACEs are correlated with a dramatic increase in the risk of developing 7 of the top 10 causes of death.

If you have 4 or more ACEs – your relative risk of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) is 2.5 times higher versus people with 0 ACEs, hepatitis risk is 2.5 times higher, depression 4.5 times higher, cancer is 2.5 times higher, diabetes is 1.6 times higher, a stroke is 2.6 times higher and being suicidal is 12 times higher.

8 or more ACEs triple risk of lung cancer, and increase the risk 3.5 times of ischemic heart disease.

A person with 6 or more ACEs has a reduced lifespan of 20 years.

Research has shown there is a 6 fold increased risk of chronic fatigue syndrome with ACEs. One study showed 60% of women with Fibromyalgia had suffered sexual abuse.

In 2009, Felitti and Anda from the original CDC and Kaiser Permanente study completed another study, specifically on cumulative adverse childhood events stress and adulthood autoimmunity, surveying 15,300 adults.

They found that if you had 2 or more ACEs, you’re 100% more likely to be diagnosed with rheumatic diseases.

For TH1 dominant autoimmune conditions there was a 70% increased risk with 2 or more ACEs of developing: Type I diabetes, Multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Grave’s Disease, Crohn’s Disease, Psoriasis, Celiac Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis and chronic viral infections

For TH2 dominant autoimmune conditions (listed below): there is an 80% increased risk with 2 or more ACEs of developing:  Lupus, Allergic Dermatitis, Atopic Eczema, Sinusitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Asthma,  Allergies, Ulcerative Colitis and Multiple chemical sensitivity.

The correlation of autoimmunity onset in adulthood for women and ACE’s is as strongly linked as smoking and lung cancer.

A later study of 28,000 adults in California based upon the annual California Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System showed that people with four or more ACEs are 4.22 times increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

In the late ’80s, the original Kaiser Permanente researcher, Dr Felitti began a systematic study of 286 obese people, and discovered that 50% had been sexually abused as children. That rate is more than 50% higher than the rate normally reported by women, and more than triple the average rate in men. This was the original study that triggered the larger studies in the 1990s.

Being subjected to moderate abuse during childhood results in a 34% increased risk of developing obesity as an adult, and a 50% increased risk of developing obesity in adulthood if exposed to severe abuse according to a meta-analysis carried out by Karolinska Institutet in Sweden which included a total of 112,000 participants and published Obesity Reviews in 2014.

To find out what qualifies as and “ACE” and determine your own ace score go to Ace Score.

If you have ACE’s and now understand the risks, next you’ll want to know how to healing emotional trauma from childhood.

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