ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES COULD LEAD TO RISKY BEHAVIORS AND DISEASES IN ADULTHOOD
By: Rafael R. Castillo 05:01 AM February 26, 2019
Last week, in the joint annual convention of the Philippine Society of Hypertension and Philippine Lipid Society, I attended an interesting panel discussion on childhood factors that could lead to heart problems in adulthood.
Dr. Bernadette Madrid, head of Child Protection Unit of the Philippine General Hospital, talked about the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on both physical and mental health in adulthood.
She cited a landmark paper on this frequently unrecognized problem—the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. It is the largest study done on the social effects of childhood experiences throughout the life span of 17,421 participants.
ACEs are any toxic or traumatic experiences before age 18, which can have a lasting imprint on one’s health. They may include domestic violence; sexual, physical, or verbal abuse; being with someone in the home who is chronically depressed or mentally ill; absence of or physical and emotional neglect by one or both biological parents.
Based on one study cited by Dr. Madrid, around two of three children experience physical violence, six of 10 experience psychological violence, and 17 percent experience sexual violence.
Two out of three also experience bullying of any form or have witnessed psychological violence at home; and four out of 10 suffer cyber violence.