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Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adult Health Outcomes Among Veteran and Non-Veteran Women.

McCauley HL, Blosnich JR, Dichter ME. Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adult Health Outcomes Among Veteran and Non-Veteran Women. Journal of women's health (2002). 2015 Sep 1; 24(9):723-9.

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Women veterans represent a vulnerable population with unique health needs and disparities in access to care. One constellation of exposures related to subsequent poor health includes adverse childhood experiences (ACEs; e.g., physical and sexual child abuse), though research on impacts of ACEs among women veterans is limited. METHODS: Data were drawn from the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for the 11 states that included the ACE module (n = 36,485). Weighted chi-squared tests and multivariable logistic regression were used to assess the prevalence of ACEs among women veterans compared with women non-veterans and differences in the following outcomes, controlling for ACEs: social support, inadequate sleep, life satisfaction, mental distress, smoking, heavy alcohol use, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease symptoms, asthma, and disability. RESULTS: Women veterans (1.6% of the total sample) reported a higher prevalence of 7 out of 11 childhood adversities and higher mean ACE score than women non-veterans. Women veterans were more likely to be current smokers and report a disability, associations which were attenuated when controlling for ACE. CONCLUSIONS: Despite women veterans' higher prevalence of ACE, their health outcomes did not differ substantially from non-veterans. Further research is needed to understand the intersections of traumatic experiences and sources of resilience over the lifecourse among women veterans.





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