- The effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) extend well into older age, with people aged ≥65 years who have a history of ACEs significantly more likely to have received psychiatric and substance use disorder diagnoses in the last year than older adults without that history.
Why this matters
- Clinicians treating older adults for suspected mental illness should consider a history of ACEs when making the diagnosis.
- Study of 5806 individuals (age, ≥65 years) from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions Wave III during 2012-2013.
- Funding: None disclosed.
- 35.9% of the participants reported ACEs.
- Individuals with ACEs vs those without had higher odds of a past-year diagnosis of:
- Psychiatric disorder (aOR, 2.11; P<.001>
- Generalized anxiety disorder (4.8% vs 3.1%; OR, 1.58; P<.01>
- Major depressive disorder (8.5% vs 3.7%; OR, 2.37; P<.001>
- Dysthymia (2.6% vs 1.3%; OR, 2.00; P<.01>
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (4.3% vs 1.0%; OR, 4.47; P<.001>
- Panic disorder (1.5% vs 0.5%; OR, 2.94; P<.01>
- Bipolar I disorder (0.8% vs 0.2%; OR, 3.53; P<.05>
- Alcohol use disorder (11.4% vs 6.8%; OR, 1.76; P<.001>
- Tobacco use disorder (3.4% vs 1.8%; OR, 1.45; P<.01>
- Any illicit drug use disorder (1.2% vs 0.5%; OR, 2.32; P<.05>
- Survey-based study.
Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD