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California Essentials for Childhood Initiative (CA)

The California Essentials for Childhood Initiative uses a public health and collective impact approach to align and enhance collaborative efforts to promote safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for children, youth and families through systems, policy and social norms change.

Vital Signs: Estimated Proportion of Adult Health Problems Attributable to Adverse Childhood Experiences and Implications for Prevention []


By Melissa T. Merrick, Derek C. Ford, Katie A. Ports, et al., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, November 5, 2019


What is already known about this topic?

Adverse childhood experiences are common and are associated with many poor health and life outcomes in adulthood.

What is added by this report?

Nearly 16% of adults in the study population reported four or more types of adverse childhood experiences, which were significantly associated with poorer health outcomes, health risk behaviors, and socioeconomic challenges. Population attributable fractions representing potential percentage reductions in outcomes ranged from 1.7% for overweight or obesity to 44.1% for depression.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Using the best available evidence to create safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments can prevent adverse childhood experiences and could potentially prevent adult chronic conditions, depression, health risk behaviors, and negative socioeconomic outcomes.

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Chicago Tribune article about the study: 

Ending childhood abuse and other damaging experiences could reduce up to 21 million cases of depression, 1.9 million cases of heart disease, CDC finds

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