Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Adiposity in Adolescents: A Cross-Cohort Comparison

Ana Luiza G. Soares*, Alicia Matijasevich, Ana M.B. Menezes, Maria Cecília Assunção, Fernando C. Wehrmeister, Laura D. Howe, Helen Gonçalves

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
296 Downloads (Pure)


OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the association between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and adiposity in adolescents from two cohorts in different socioeconomic contexts.

METHODS: Data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC, United Kingdom) and the 1993 Pelotas Cohort (Brazil) were used. Six ACEs were assessed in both cohorts up to age 15. At 15 years, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) were measured, and at 18 years, BMI, fat mass index, and android fat percentage were assessed.

RESULTS: Few associations were observed between ACEs and adiposity at 15 years, and they were not consistent across cohorts. For adiposity at age 15 in ALSPAC, physical abuse had a positive association with WC, and domestic violence had a positive association with both WC and BMI. A dose-response relationship between the ACE score and both WC and BMI at 15 years was observed in ALSPAC. In the 1993 Pelotas Cohort, the associations found in crude analysis were no longer evident after adjustment.

CONCLUSIONS: This study found some evidence of an association between an ACE score and adiposity in adolescence in a United Kingdom cohort but no evidence of association in a Brazilian cohort. Residual confounding or context-specific relationships could explain the different pattern of associations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-159
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Early online date14 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • Journal Article


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