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Traumatic childhood experiences associated with chronic health problems, study finds

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g7588 (Published 09 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7588
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Children who have had one or more traumatic experiences in childhood have higher rates of chronic disease than those who have not had such experiences, even after adjusting for factors such as race, ethnicity, and household income, a US study has found.

These findings indicate that the US health system could improve the immediate and long term health of children by focusing on those who have had, or are at risk of having, adverse childhood experiences, the study said.1 This should include developing strategies to promote resilience among the young, which seems to reduce the impact of such experiences.

Lead author Christina D Bethell, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and colleagues used data from the 2011-12 National Survey of Children’s Health, a nationally representative sample of 95 677 US children aged 0-17 years. They assessed the associations …

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