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Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences High

More than half of adults report having at least one ACE; 8.7 percent report five or more

FRIDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A history of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) is commonly reported by adults, with more than half reporting at least one ACE, according to a report published in the Dec. 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The CDC analyzed information from 26,229 adults in five states using the 2009 ACE module of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to assess whether a history of ACEs was common in a randomly selected population. The report revealed that 59.4 percent of respondents reported having at least one ACE, with 8.7 percent reporting five or more ACEs. The prevalence of each ACE ranged from 29.1 percent for substance abuse in the household to 7.2 percent for an incarcerated family member. In addition, 25.9 percent of respondents reported verbal abuse, 14.8 percent reported physical abuse, and 12.2 percent reported sexual abuse.

Men and women reported similar prevalences for most ACEs, but women reported higher prevalences of sexual abuse, living with a mentally ill household member, and living with a substance-abusing family member. In addition, compared to the younger age groups, respondents aged ≥55 years reported significantly lower prevalences of all ACE categories.

"Evidence-based child abuse prevention programs, such as home visitations and parenting programs, might improve health by reducing ACEs," the authors write.

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