Adverse Childhood Experiences Tied to Adult Mental Health Outcomes
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Adverse Childhood Experiences Tied to Adult Mental Health Outcomes

Findings strongest for multiple adverse childhood experiences or sexual abuse

FRIDAY, March 15, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Associations between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and adult mental health outcomes remain significant even after controlling for shared genetic and environmental factors, according to a study published online March 6 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Hilda Björk Daníelsdóttir, from the University of Iceland in Reykjavík, and colleagues investigated whether associations between ACEs and adult mental health outcomes persist after adjusting for familial (genetic and environmental) factors. Analysis included 25,252 adult twins identified from the Swedish Twin Registry (born between 1959 and 1998 with follow-up from age 19 years until 2016).

The researchers found that 38.6 percent of participants reported exposure to at least one ACE. Odds of any psychiatric disorder increased in the full cohort with a greater number of ACEs (odds ratio per additional ACE, 1.52). In dizygotic twins the association remained, but the odds per additional ACE were attenuated (odds ratio, 1.29), with similar findings for monozygotic twin pairs (odds ratio, 1.20). Exposure to sexual abuse was associated with increased odds of any clinically confirmed psychiatric disorder in all comparisons.

"This suggests that interventions targeting ACEs, including primary prevention and enhanced access to evidence-based trauma therapies to individuals who experienced ACEs, may be associated with reduced risk of future psychopathology," the authors write.

One author disclosed ties to Shire/Takeda and Evolan.

Abstract/Full Text

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