Adverse Childhood Experiences and Prescribed Psychotropic Medications in Adults

ACE Study Group, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341-3717, USA.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine (Impact Factor: 4.53). 06/2007; 32(5):389-94. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2007.01.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Prescription drugs are one of the fastest growing healthcare costs in the United States. However, the long-term influence of child abuse and related traumatic stressors on prescriptions for psychotropic medications in adults has not been described. This study assessed the relationship of eight adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) to rates of prescriptions for psychotropic medications throughout adulthood. These ACEs included: abuse (emotional, physical, or sexual), witnessing domestic violence, growing up with substance abusing, mentally ill, or criminal household members, and parental separation/divorce.
Data about ACEs were collected between 1995 and 1997 from adult health maintenance organization patients; prescription data were available from 1997 to 2004. The number of ACEs (ACE Score: maximum 8) was used as a measure of cumulative traumatic stress during childhood. The relationship of the score to rates of prescribed psychotropic drugs was prospectively assessed among 15,033 adult patients eligible for the follow-up phase of the study (mean follow-up: 6.1 years). Data were analyzed in 2006. Multivariate models were adjusted for age, race, gender, and education.
Prescription rates increased yearly during the follow-up and in a graded fashion as the ACE Score increased (p for trend <0.001). After adjusting compared with persons with an ACE Score of 0, persons with a score of equal to or more than 5 had a nearly threefold increase in rates of psychotropic prescriptions. Graded relationships were observed between the score and prescription rates for antidepressant, anxiolytic, antipsychotic, and mood-stabilizing/bipolar medications; rates for persons with a score of equal to or more than 5 for these classes of drugs increased 3-, 2-, 10-, and 17-fold, respectively.
The strong relationship of the ACE Score to increased utilization of psychotropic medications underscores the contribution of childhood experience to the burden of adult mental illness. Moreover, the huge economic costs associated with the use of psychotropic medications provide additional incentive to address the high prevalence and consequences of childhood traumatic stressors.

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    • "The NPHS documented a variety of other adult health outcomes that have been associated with childhood adversities. These included the use of antidepressant medications (Anda et al. 2007), sleep medication use (Chapman et al. 2011) and smoking (Chapman et al. 2011). In summary, the NPHS provided an opportunity to screen for associations between the large number of adversities listed above and several types of negative health outcome. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aims. Accumulating evidence links childhood adversity to negative health outcomes in adulthood. However, most of the available evidence is retrospective and subject to recall bias. Published reports have sometimes focused on specific childhood exposures (e.g. abuse) and/or specific outcomes (e.g. major depression). Other studies have linked childhood adversity to a large and diverse number of adult risk factors and health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease. To advance this literature, we undertook a broad examination of data from two linked surveys. The goal was to avoid retrospective distortion and to provide a descriptive overview of patterns of association. Methods. A baseline interview for the Canadian National Longitudinal Study of Children and Youth collected information about childhood adversities affecting children aged 0-11 in 1994. The sampling procedures employed in a subsequent study called the National Population Health Survey (NPHS) made it possible to link n = 1977 of these respondents to follow-up data collected later when respondents were between the ages of 14 and 27. Outcomes included major depressive episodes (MDE), some risk factors and educational attainment. Cross-tabulations were used to examine these associations and adjusted estimates were made using the regression models. As the NPHS was a longitudinal study with multiple interviews, for most analyses generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used. As there were multiple exposures and outcomes, a statistical procedure to control the false discovery rate (Benjamini-Hochberg) was employed. Results. Childhood adversities were consistently associated with a cluster of potentially related outcomes: MDE, psychotropic medication use and smoking. These outcomes may be related to one another since psychotropic medications are used in the treatment of major depression, and smoking is strongly associated with major depression. However, no consistent associations were observed for other outcomes examined: physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, binge drinking or educational attainment. Conclusions. The conditions found to be the most strongly associated with childhood adversities were a cluster of outcomes that potentially share pathophysiological connections. Although prior literature has suggested that a very large number of adult outcomes, including physical inactivity and alcohol-related outcomes follow childhood adversity, this analysis suggests a degree of specificity with outcomes potentially related to depression. Some of the other reported adverse outcomes (e.g. those related to alcohol use, physical inactivity or more distal outcomes such as obesity and cardiovascular disease) may emerge later in life and in some cases may be secondary to depression, psychotropic medication use and smoking.
    Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences 02/2015; DOI:10.1017/S2045796015000104 · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    • "In general, polypharmacy increases the risk of drug-drug interactions, increases the risk of side effects, and may lead to greater non-adherence due to both adverse effects and complexity of medication regimen (Correll, Rummel-Kluge, Corves, Kane, & Leucht, 2009; Glick, Pham, & Davis, 2006; Maayan & Correll, 2011; Megna et al., 2007). In addition, this increased medication utilization that previously had been limited to adults with a history of childhood adversity (Anda et al., 2007) may accentuate the already increased risk of obesity (Keeshin et al., 2013) in these patients. "
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    ABSTRACT: Many children and adolescents who require psychiatric hospitalization have been physically or sexually abused, yet the association between reported histories of abuse and the complexity and severity of mental illness among psychiatrically hospitalized youth is poorly described with regard to current inpatient psychiatric practice. We sought to determine the association between histories of abuse and psychiatric complexity and severity in psychiatrically hospitalized youth including comorbidity patterns, psychotropic medication use, reason for admission and length of hospitalization. A systematic chart review was performed on 1433 consecutive psychiatric hospitalizations of children and adolescents that occurred over a 10-month period. Children with a history of abuse were more likely to be diagnosed with multiple DSM-IV-TR disorders than non-traumatized children. A history of sexual abuse was associated with more medication use than in their non-traumatized peers and a higher likelihood of treatment with antipsychotic medications, both at admission and discharge. Physical and sexual abuse were independently associated with increased length of stays, with exposure to both physical and sexual abuse associated with a 2-day increase in duration of hospitalization compared to non-traumatized patients. The findings from this study draw attention to the adverse impact of abuse on psychiatric morbidity and complexity and suggest the need for trauma-informed treatment in psychiatric hospital settings.
    Child abuse & neglect 09/2013; 38(1). DOI:10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.08.013 · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    • "Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been associated with a variety of negative behavioral and health outcomes in adulthood [1]. Specifically, exposure to ACEs – which are defined as incidents of household abuse or dysfunction during the first 18 years of life – has been linked to the use of illicit drugs [2], depression [3], psychotropic medication use [4], premature mortality [5], and the prevalence of ischemic heart disease (IHD) [6]. The latter finding was judged noteworthy enough for the authors to conclude that psychological factors, such as anger and depressed affect, appear to be more important than traditional risk factors, including smoking and physical inactivity, in mediating the relation of ACEs to the risk of IHD [6]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Although adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have previously been demonstrated to be adversely associated with a variety of health outcomes in adulthood, their specific association with sleep among adults has not been examined. To better address this issue, this study examines the relationship between eight self-reported ACEs and frequent insufficient sleep among community-dwelling adults residing in 5 U.S. states in 2009. Methods To assess whether ACEs were associated with frequent insufficient sleep (respondent did not get sufficient rest or sleep ≥14 days in past 30 days) in adulthood, we analyzed ACE data collected in the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a random-digit-dialed telephone survey in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Washington. ACEs included physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, household mental illness, incarcerated household members, household substance abuse, parental separation/divorce, and witnessing domestic violence before age 18. Smoking status and frequent mental distress (FMD) (≥14 days in past 30 days when self-perceived mental health was not good) were assessed as potential mediators in multivariate logistic regression analyses of frequent insufficient sleep by ACEs adjusted for race/ethnicity, gender, education, and body mass index. Results Overall, 28.8% of 25,810 respondents reported frequent insufficient sleep, 18.8% were current smokers, 10.8% reported frequent mental distress, 59.5% percent reported ≥1 ACE, and 8.7% reported ≥ 5 ACEs. Each ACE was associated with frequent insufficient sleep in multivariate analyses. Odds of frequent insufficient sleep were 2.5 (95% CI, 2.1-3.1) times higher in persons with ≥5 ACEs compared to those with no ACEs. Most relationships were modestly attenuated by smoking and FMD, but remained significant. Conclusions Childhood exposures to eight indicators of child maltreatment and household dysfunction were significantly associated with frequent insufficient sleep during adulthood in this population. ACEs could be potential indicators promoting further investigation of sleep insufficiency, along with consideration of FMD and smoking.
    BMC Public Health 01/2013; 13(1):3. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-13-3 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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