The Relationship Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Diabetes in Central Michigan Adults

Thomas Ittoop, Chin-I Cheng, Sethu Reddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) predispose individuals to poor health outcomes as adults. Although a dose-response relationship between the number of ACEs and certain chronic illnesses has been shown, the impact of ACEs on diabetes is not thoroughly understood. We investigated the prevalence of ACEs in patients with diabetes and the potential relationship to the severity of diabetes. Methods: Patients with diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) or obesity were surveyed from the Endocrinology & Diabetes Center at McLaren Central Michigan in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. A validated, standard ACE questionnaire was administered to quantify the number of adverse childhood events that patients have experienced. A retrospective chart analysis was then conducted, addressing the relationship of ACEs with the severity of disease in the diabetes group and the obesity group. The number of ACEs was correlated with disease comorbidities, complications, and measurable quantities, such as body mass index (BMI) and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). Results: ACE scores in both diabetes and obesity groups were shown to have a greater prevalence compared to the general ACE average in Michigan. ACE scores also positively correlated to BMI and HbA1c in the diabetes group. Those with higher ACE scores in the diabetes group were also more likely to have depression and anxiety. Conclusion: ACE screening may lead to a greater understanding of the severity of and progression of diabetes. Ultimately, these results could provide support to potential interventional studies leading to the altered management of diabetes in patients with ACEs, or preventative intervention to children with ACEs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1425-1434
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 28 2020


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