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Pediatrics. 2000 Jul;106(1):E11.

Adverse childhood experiences and sexually transmitted diseases in men and women: a retrospective study.

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National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341-3724, USA.



Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) may have long-term consequences on at-risk behaviors that lead to an increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) during adulthood. Therefore, we examined the relationship between ACEs and subsequent STDs for both men and women.


A total of 9323 (4263 men and 5060 women) adults >/=18 years of age participated in a retrospective cohort study evaluating the association between ACEs and self-reported STDs. Participants were adult members of a managed care organization who underwent routine medical evaluations and completed standardized questionnaires about 7 categories of ACEs, including emotional, physical, or sexual abuse; living with a battered mother; and living with a substance-abusing, mentally ill, or criminal household member. Logistic regression was used to model the association between the cumulative categories of ACEs (range: 0-7) and a history of STDs.


We found that 59% (2986) of women and 57% (2464) of men reported 1 or more categories of adverse experiences during childhood. Among those with 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 to 5, and 6 to 7 ACEs, the proportion with STDs was 4.1%, 6.9%, 8.0%, 11.6%, 13.5%, and 20.7% for women and 7.3%, 10.9%, 12.9%, 17.1%, 17.1%, and 39.1% for men. After adjustment for age and race, all odds ratios for reporting an STD had confidence intervals that excluded 1. Among those with 1, 2, 3, 4 to 5, and 6 to 7 ACEs, the odds ratios were 1.45, 1.54, 2.22, 2. 48, and 3.40 for women and 1.46, 1.67, 2.16, 2.07, and 5.3 for men.


We observed a strong graded relationship between ACEs and a self-reported history of STDs among adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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