Adverse childhood experiences and prescribed psychotropic medications in adults.
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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ABSTRACT: Female juvenile offenders are more likely to have a history of childhood abuse, emotional disturbances, mental health problems, and serious problems involving substance abuse. The aim of this study were: (1) to investigate the characteristics of self-esteem, aggressiveness, depressiveness, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), (2) to examine the relationships of these characteristics between female inmates of a juvenile correctional facility and age- and gender-matched controls, and (3) to propose an appropriate cause–effect relation model using structural equal modeling. The subjects were 81 female juveniles admitted to a female juvenile correctional facility and 285 age- and sex-matched comparisons. There was clear evidence for strong relationship between ACEs, aggression, depression, and low self-esteem. In addition, path analysis by structural equation modeling showed a simple clear model diagram regarding self-esteem in the female juvenile offenders.Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology 02/2013; 24(1):111-127. DOI:10.1080/14789949.2012.746384 · 0.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There is increasing interest in childhood maltreatment as a potent stimulus that may alter trajectories of brain development, induce epigenetic modifications and enhance risk for medical and psychiatric disorders. Although a number of useful scales exist for retrospective assessment of abuse and neglect they have significant limitations. Moreover, they fail to provide detailed information on timing of exposure, which is critical for delineation of sensitive periods. The Maltreatment and Abuse Chronology of Exposure (MACE) scale was developed in a sample of 1051 participants using item response theory to gauge severity of exposure to ten types of maltreatment (emotional neglect, non-verbal emotional abuse, parental physical maltreatment, parental verbal abuse, peer emotional abuse, peer physical bullying, physical neglect, sexual abuse, witnessing interparental violence and witnessing violence to siblings) during each year of childhood. Items included in the subscales had acceptable psychometric properties based on infit and outfit mean square statistics, and each subscale passed Andersen's Likelihood ratio test. The MACE provides an overall severity score and multiplicity score (number of types of maltreatment experienced) with excellent test-retest reliability. Each type of maltreatment showed good reliability as did severity of exposure across each year of childhood. MACE Severity correlated 0.738 with Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) score and MACE Multiplicity correlated 0.698 with the Adverse Childhood Experiences scale (ACE). However, MACE accounted for 2.00- and 2.07-fold more of the variance, on average, in psychiatric symptom ratings than CTQ or ACE, respectively, based on variance decomposition. Different types of maltreatment had distinct and often unique developmental patterns. The 52-item MACE, a simpler Maltreatment Abuse and Exposure Scale (MAES) that only assesses overall exposure and the original test instrument (MACE-X) with several additional items plus spreadsheets and R code for scoring are provided to facilitate use and to spur further development.PLoS ONE 02/2015; 10(2):e0117423. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0117423 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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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 · 3.36 Impact Factor