“I think the most important thing that contributes to the information of the ACE Study is the powerful nature of when people tell you the truth about their lives and you listen, you understand their life course.”
Impact of ACEs
The Iowa ACE Study highlights that an increased number of ACEs is associated with a higher risk for a number of physical and mental health issues. Please note that ACEs do not cause any of this health issues, are correlated with the higher risk. ACEs can be powerful determinants in our future health and well-being of adults, but they DO NOT HAVE TO BE.
The likelihood of adopting risky behaviors or having poor health outcomes increases substantially as the number of ACEs increase. The following chart highlights the increased risk with an increased incidence of ACEs for some of our major health concerns today.
Based on the 2016 Iowa ACEs report, Iowa adults who report experiencing 4 or more ACEs compared to those with zero are:
CDC research has found that trauma in childhood could reduce life expectancy by up to 20 years.
Experiencing trauma in childhood greatly increases the risk of having mental health issues as an adult. The following chart reflects the percentage of Iowa adults by number of ACEs who rate their mental health (including stress, depression, and problems with emotions) as not good.
2.5 times as many rate their mental health of those with 4 or more ACEs rate their mental health as not good compared to those with zero ACEs. Iowa adults with four or more ACEs were 6 times more likely to have been diagnosed with depression compared to those with zero ACEs. Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States today.
Visit the Iowa ACEs report for more details on Iowa results on how ACEs impact areas such as education and the workplace.