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Curr Cardiol Rep. 2015 Oct;17(10):88. doi: 10.1007/s11886-015-0645-1.

The role of adverse childhood experiences in cardiovascular disease risk: a review with emphasis on plausible mechanisms.

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Georgia Prevention Institute, Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Regents University, 1120 15th Street, HS 1721, Augusta, GA, 30912, USA,


Childhood adversity, characterized by abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction, is a problem that exerts a significant impact on individuals, families, and society. Growing evidence suggests that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with health decline in adulthood, including cardiovascular disease (CVD). In the current review, we first provide an overview of the association between ACEs and CVD risk, with updates on the latest epidemiological evidence. Second, we briefly review plausible pathways by which ACEs could influence CVD risk, including traditional risk factors and novel mechanisms. Finally, we highlight the potential implications of ACEs in clinical and public health. Information gleaned from this review should help physicians and researchers in better understanding potential long-term consequences of ACEs and considering adapting current strategies in treatment or intervention for patients with ACEs.

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