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J Environ Public Health. 2018 Jul 11;2018:7151297. doi: 10.1155/2018/7151297. eCollection 2018.

Adverse Childhood Experiences, Health-Related Quality of Life, and Chronic Disease Risks in Rural Areas of the United States.

Author information

1
Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, USA.
2
Office of Health Equity, Health Resources and Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, USA.

Abstract

Exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) is associated with increased odds of high-risk behaviors and adverse health outcomes. This study examined whether ACE exposure among individuals living in rural areas of the United States is associated with adult activity limitations, self-reported general poor health status, chronic diseases, and poor mental health. Data from the 2011 and 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) (N=79,810) from nine states were used to calculate the prevalence of ACEs in rural and urban areas. ACE scores were determined by summing 11 survey items. Multiple logistic regression was used to examine the association between ACE scores and health outcomes, including self-reported general health status, chronic diseases, and health-related quality of life. Approximately 55.4% of rural respondents aged ≥18 years reported at least one ACE and 14.7% reported experiencing ≥4 ACEs in their childhood, compared to 59.5% of urban residents who reported at least one ACE and 15.5% reporting ≥4 ACEs. After adjusting for sociodemographic covariates, compared to rural respondents who never reported an ACE, rural respondents who experienced ≥1 ACEs had increased odds of reporting fair/poor general health, activity limitations, and heart disease, which is consistent with previous studies. The odds of experiencing a heart attack were higher for rural residents reporting 2 and ≥4 ACEs; the odds of diabetes were higher for those with 3 ACEs; and the odds of ever having asthma or poor mental health was higher for those with ≥3 ACEs. Although individuals in rural areas are less likely to experience ACEs, over half of rural respondents reported experiencing an ACE in childhood. Programs aimed at preventing ACEs, including child maltreatment, can benefit rural areas by reducing adult morbidity and increasing quality of life.

PMID:
30112012
PMCID:
PMC6077617
DOI:
10.1155/2018/7151297
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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