ACE Study – Probably the most important study of this decade…

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study) is the product of a collaboration between Vincent J. Felitti, MD, who founded and directed the Preventive Medicine Department at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, CA, and Robert F. Anda, MD, MS of the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who designed, analyzed the data and prepared numerous scientific publications from the ACE Study.

“Robert and Vincent then began a collaboration that’s ultimately become one of the foremost epidemiologic studies of long-term health impacts of child abuse and neglect.”

“I think the most important thing that contributes to the information of the ACE study is simply the powerful nature of when people tell you the truth about their lives, and you listen, you understand their life course.” 

“It’s made me realize how much of what we see in adult medicine is the result of what was present but not seen in pediatrics.” 

“ACE has changed the landscape, and I want to talk a little bit about how and why they changed the landscape and how we can take what we’ve learned from the ACEs.”

“It’s just not a social worker’s problem. It’s just not a psychologist’s problem. It’s not a pediatrician’s problem. It’s not a juvenile court judge’s problem. It’s everybody’s. It changed the landscape because of the pervasiveness of the ACEs, the huge number of public health problems, expensive public health problems, depression, substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, cancer, heart disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes.” 

“As the ACE score goes up, the likelihood of self-acknowledged Chronic depression goes up so that if they score four or higher, you’re bumping a prevalence of 60% in women, and about 35% in men.” 

“This was the percentage of people that ever smoked cigarettes. And here’s the percentage of current smokers. And we can switch the titles on these slides now, and you wouldn’t know which was from the Kaiser health plan and which was a general population sample in Washington.” 

“So how do those people without the conventional risk factors end up with coronary disease?” 

“We have used this over an eight-year period with 440,000 adult patients. I believe that this is the most important thing you can ever do, which is beginning to deal with this, this intergenerational transmission of adversity that causes so many problems in our society.”