Background and Objectives: Adverse childhood events (ACEs) have been associated with increased health risks later in life. However, it is unclear whether ACEs may be associated with multimorbidity among diverse racial/ethnic middle-aged and older adults. We evaluated whether there were racial and ethnic differences in the association between ACEs and the number of somatic and psychiatric multimorbidity in a sample of U.S. middle-aged and older adults. Research Design and Methods: Data from the 2012-2013 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (N = 10,727; ≥55 years) were used to test whether the number of self-reported somatic conditions (i.e., heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, osteoporosis, and chronic lung problems) as well as DSM-5 psychiatric disorders (i.e., depression) during the past 12 months differed by history of ACEs while stratifying by age (i.e., 55-64 or ≥65) and racial/ethnic group (i.e., non-Hispanic White [NHW; n = 7,457], non-Hispanic Black [NHB; n = 1,995], and Hispanic [n=1275]). Results: The prevalence of reporting more than two somatic conditions and psychiatric disorders was 48.8% and 11.4% for those with a history of ACEs, and 41.1% and 3.3% for those without a history of ACEs. Adjusting for sociodemographic and other health risk factors, ACEs was significantly associated with greater numbers of somatic multimorbidity among racial and ethnic middle-aged adults but this was not the case for older adults. Discussion and Implications: Our findings suggest that middle-aged adults with a history of ACEs are more likely to suffer from somatic and psychiatric multimorbidity, highlighting the importance of screening for ACEs in promoting healthy aging.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Health Professions (miscellaneous)
- Life-span and Life-course Studies