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Adverse childhood experiences and multiple mental health outcomes through adulthood: a prospective birth cohort study

By Dawid Gondek, Praveetha Patalay, Rebecca E Lacey

Posted 24 Feb 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.02.23.21252273

This study examined the association between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and mental health-related outcomes spanning ages 16-55 years, using a prospective birth cohort representative of those born around 1958 in Great Britain. We found a dose-response association between prospectively and retrospectively reported ACEs and all studied mental health-related outcomes, after accounting for multiple covariates. Among those with 2+ (vs 0) prospective ACEs, the risk of clinically significant psychological distress was up to 2.14 times higher, and of seeing a mental health specialist up to 2.85 times higher. Our findings reiterate the need for early-life interventions to reduce inequalities in mental health.

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