Consequences and associated annual costs of adverse childhood experiences

An increasing number of studies are identifying associations between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and ill health throughout the life course. Researchers aimed to calculate the proportions of major risk factors for and causes of ill health that are attributable to one or multiple types of ACE and the associated financial costs.

Millions of adults across Europe and north America live with a legacy of ACEs. The findings suggest that a 10% reduction in ACE prevalence could equate to annual savings of 3 million DALYs or $105 billion. Programmes to prevent ACEs and moderate their effects are available. Rebalancing expenditure towards ensuring safe and nurturing childhoods would be economically beneficial and relieve pressures on health-care systems.

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