By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Today, health officials are unveiling the results of a groundbreaking research on the long-term effects of exposure to violence during childhood.
Philadelphia is the first city where the impact of urban stress is being studied.
Fifteen years ago, researchers astounded the health care community by showing that Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACES, correlate with long-term physical and behavioral health issues.
These experiences entail things like abuse, neglect, or an unstable household, and can lead to issues like diabetes, heart disease, substance abuse and suicide.
Psychiatrist Sandra Bloom says researchers have now widened the lens to try to gauge the impact of living in an unsafe neighborhood and witnessing violence or experiencing discrimination.
They call this “urban ACE”.
Bloom says, “the results are disturbing. There’s a high prevalence of ACE in Philadelphia, there’s a high prevalence of urban ACE in Philadelphia.”
The results will be reported at the National Summit on Adverse Childhood Experiences, being held at the Independence Visitors Center.