The findings suggest the potential benefits of expanding Medicaid coverage to low-income adults under the Affordable Care Act.
The Long Shadow of Childhood Trauma
A participant’s quality of life declined with each added exposure to childhood trauma.
Dates of Project: January 2012 to January 2013
Field of Work: Assessing the impact of health insurance on low-income people exposed to childhood trauma
Problem Synopsis: Researchers have documented the negative effects of childhood trauma on adult health, but few have focused on low-income, mostly uninsured adults. And little is known about the effects of access to health insurance on the health of adults who faced childhood trauma.
Synopsis of the Work: Researchers mailed surveys to 12,963 participants in the Oregon Health Study, with questions from the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. (Some 50% responded.) The team used the resulting information to calculate a childhood trauma score for each respondent, and to update information on his or her health.
- Associations between childhood trauma and risk of depression, hypertension, and obesity were significant.
- The relationship between childhood trauma and self-reported, health-related quality of life was significant.
- Exposure to childhood trauma was significantly associated with smoking.
The researchers are now analyzing the effects of access to health insurance on the health of these respondents.
- Healthy Starts for All January 1, 2011
- Adulthood Stressors, History of Childhood Adversity, and Risk of Perpetration of Intimate Partner Violence February 1, 2011
- What the Oregon Health Study Can Tell Us about Expanding Medicaid August 1, 2010
- About this grant
Low-income adults who faced childhood trauma are at higher risk of hypertension, depression, and obesity