March 23, 2021 in How We Think

McKinney Chiropractor Best Practices Research Commentary; Eliminate Stress to Stay Healthy with Dr. Chris Phillips

McKinney Chiropractor Best Practices Research Commentary; Does Childhood Stress Lead to an Early Death?

Eliminate Stress to Stay Healthy!

 

Eliminate Stress to Stay Healthy!

A review of

Vincent J Felitti MD, FACP, Robert F Anda MD, MS, Dale Nordenberg MD, David F Williamson MS, PhD, Alison M Spitz MS, MPH, Valerie Edwards BA, Mary P Koss PhD, James S Marks MD, MPH

Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study

American Journal of Preventive Medicine  VOLUME 14, ISSUE 4, P245-258, MAY 01, 1998

Research Reviewed By Dr. Chris Phillips

Summarized Review Conclusions

This study shows us a couple of things.  First, what we experience as children plays a significant role in the habits we create which can lead to chronic disease and premature death.  Our modern healthcare system is not set up to assess our lifestyle choices when examining health issues, neither is it effective at determining where a patient symptom’s originated. These two factors give treating physicians less of a chance at correcting negative symptoms from a causal observation point.  This study is not a final determination that these kids who are exposed to negative behaviors and experiences will definitely be sick and die early, but it is a strong representation that we need to pay attention to lifestyle choices at an early age and how these habits are being created while asking ourselves how do we focus on making the healthy choices.  It also shows us we need to be more holistic in our approach from an early age and look at patients not just for their symptoms but instead as an entire ecosystem that has a lot of moving parts that need to remain in balance.  Let’s look at the lifestyle choices of each person and the corrections of those causes, which resulted in ill health.  And remember, Eliminate Stress to Stay Healthy! Below you will find direct quotes key to findings of the referenced article along with my synopses of the research query, methodology and findings including references used by the research authors.

“Persons who had experienced four or more categories of childhood exposures, compared to those who had experienced none, had 4-12 fold increased health risks for alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, and suicide attempt.  2-4 fold increase in smoking, poor self-rated health, 50 or more sexual intercourse partners, and sexually transmitted disease; and 1.4-1.6 fold increase in physical inactivity and severe obesity.”

Vincent J Felitti MD, FACP, Robert F Anda MD, MS, Dale Nordenberg MD, David F Williamson MS, PhD, Alison M Spitz MS, MPH, Valerie Edwards BA, Mary P Koss PhD, James S Marks MD, MPH

Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study

American Journal of Preventive Medicine  VOLUME 14, ISSUE 4, P245-258, MAY 01, 1998

“These associations are important because it is now clear that the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States are related to health behaviors and lifestyle factors; these factors have been called the “actual” causes of death.”

Mortality patterns: United States, 1993. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 1996;45:161–4.

McGinnis JM, Foege WH. Actual causes of death in the United States. JAMA 1993;270:2207–12

“We found a strong graded relationship between the breadth of exposure to abuse or household dysfunction during childhood and multiple risk factors for several of the leading causes of death in adults.”

Vincent J Felitti MD, FACP, Robert F Anda MD, MS, Dale Nordenberg MD, David F Williamson MS, PhD, Alison M Spitz MS, MPH, Valerie Edwards BA, Mary P Koss PhD, James S Marks MD, MPH

Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study

American Journal of Preventive Medicine  VOLUME 14, ISSUE 4, P245-258, MAY 01, 1998

Introduction to the Research

The origination of this research was established because It has long been thought that our experiences as a child, both positive and negative, have an effect on our health and play a significant role in determining our habits, as we grow older.  However, the research that has been available is limited when looking at this subject.  There are a couple of reasons the research has historically remained so limited; The main reason you will see is that doctors treating patients typically focus on the presenting symptoms and the treating doctor is often a “specialist”.  Meaning, if you have coronary heart disease for example, you go to a cardiologist.  It is not very often that the cardiologist would draw a link to the experiences you had as a child in determining your symptom.  Most of the time when we are faced with symptoms we visit, a pediatrician as a child or a primary physician as an adult for all complaints this leads to the same symptomatic care instead of a lifestyle assessment which would help to treat the cause of any symptoms.

The real issue when examining adults with chronic diseases is what lifestyle choices are they making.  What does their diet look like?  How stressed are they on a regular basis?   How much do they move or exercise?  Because what we now understand is that these lifestyle choices are the main or “actual” cause of chronic disease and early death.  So this study performs an in depth view of how our lifestyle habits are formed and what effect they will have on our health later on in life.

Research Methodology

A questionnaire was mailed out to 13,949 adults who had a standard medical evaluation at a large hospital.  9,508 of the adults actually responded and filled out the survey.  The survey listed seven categories of adverse childhood experiences:  psychological abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, violence against mother, or living with someone who was a substance abuser, mentally ill or suicidal, or ever imprisoned.  The authors then looked at the number of categories the subjects responded they had experienced and compare those results with their adult medical diagnoses found in their medical exam.

Research Findings

This study showed a significant relationship between those people who had responded to experiencing 4 or more of the experiences mentioned and their poor health and lifestyle habits.  The patients who had 4 experiences compared to those who had 0 experiences 4-12 fold increased health risks for alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, and suicide attempt.  2-4 fold increase in smoking, poor self-rated health, 50 or more sexual intercourse partners, and sexually transmitted disease; and 1.4-1.6 fold increase in physical inactivity and severe obesity.  This shows that an increase in experiences as a child leads to a higher prevalence of adult diseases such as ischemic heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, skeletal fractures, and liver disease.  So, those with multiple childhood experiences were strongly interrelated with chronic health issues due to poor lifestyle habits.

So remember, Eliminate Stress to Stay Healthy!

 

Research References

As always with these reviews, these are my takeaways from the article and I encourage you to read the article in its entirety.  The references used in this article by the authors of this article are listed below.

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