Do you know your ACE score?

Do you know your ACE score or adverse childhood experiences score? Dr. Wanda Filer, the Board Chair of the American Academy of Physicians, says you should.

The ACE Study was conducted by the CDC and Kaiser Permanente from 1995 to 1997. It was one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect. The study focused on 10 types of childhood trauma. They include physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, alcoholism in a parent and mental illness in the home. Each type of trauma counts for one point and the total amount one has experienced equals their ACE score. The ACE Study found that most people in the U.S. have at least one ACE. It found that people with four or more ACEs have an increased risk of adult onset of chronic health problems such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, suicide, and alcoholism.

Dr. Filer says it’s important to know your score because, while you may be at risk for health problems later in life, a high ACE score is not a guarantee of poor health. Dr. Filer says just one stable adult in a child’s life can increase a child’s resilience.