From ACEs to ASHEs: Adverse Shared Historical Experiences and Their Impact on Health Outcomes

Authors: William Ventres, MD, MA, Erick Messias, MD, PhD


Since the landmark 1998 Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study,2 the concept of ACEs has entered the vocabulary of medical and public health practitioners. It has helped define numerous risk factors for a variety of health outcomes. ACEs are potentially traumatic events that occur in an individual’s childhood. Examples of ACEs include, but are not limited to, experiencing interpersonal violence, abuse, and neglect; witnessing violence in the home or surrounding community; and having a family member attempt or die by suicide.

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