Millions of adults across Europe and north America live with a legacy of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). A newly published article from the Lancet looks at the health consequences and costs associated with ACEs in Europe and North America.
Findings from the report include: the combined annual costs of depression and anxiety attributed to ACEs were $51 billion in Europe and $82 billion in North America; total annual costs attributed to ACEs were estimated to be $581 billion in Europe and $748 billion in North America; and 77% of total costs in Europe and 82% in North America were seen in individuals with two or more ACEs.
On a more positive note, the report’s findings also suggest that a 10% reduction in ACE prevalence could equate to annual savings of 3 million disability-adjusted life-years or $105 billion. With programmes to prevent ACEs and moderate their effects available, rebalancing expenditure towards ensuring safe and nurturing childhoods would be economically beneficial and relieve pressures on health-care systems.