Adult cancer risk behaviors associated with adverse childhood experiences in a low income population in the Southeastern United States

Charles Mouton, Margaret K. Hargreaves, Jianguo Liu, Saudat Fadeyi, William J. Blot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives. Adverse childhood experiences (ACE) can affect health in adulthood. We investigate the relationship between childhood experiences and adult cancer risk and screening behaviors in a racially diverse, low income population. Methods. Nearly 22,000 adults 40 years and older in the Southern Community Cohort Study were administered the ACE questionnaire. We estimated odds ratios (OR) for the prevalence of smoking, alcohol consumption, BMI and five cancer screening methods in relation to the ACE score. Results. Over half reported at least one ACE, with percentages higher for women (61%) than men (53%). Higher ACE scores were related to increased prevalence of smoking (ORs 1.25 (1.05–1.50) to 2.33 (1.96–2.77). Little association was seen between rising ACE score and alcohol consumption or BMI, except for a modest trend in morbid obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2). Mammography and cervical cancer screening decreased with rising ACE scores, but no trends were seen with prostate or colorectal cancer screening. Conclusions. Adverse childhood experiences are strong predictors of adult cancer risk behaviors, particularly increased likelihood of smoking, and among women, lower mammography and Pap screening rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-83
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Volume27
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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