Over the past 18 years, Felitti and his professional partner, Dr. Robert Anda, have been researching the effects of adverse childhood experience (ACE) on long-term physical health. A researcher with the Centers for Disease Control, Felitti is the co-principal investigator of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study that points to correlations between a person’s ACE and his or her life expectancy and proclivity for certain diseases.
“When we looked at the 10 percent of patients dying of coronary heart disease without the recognized risk factors, we found that their ACE score explained it,” Felitti told AlterNet.
But the correlation may not stop with heart disease. Felitti’s research has found correlations between ACE and cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, and sundry autoimmune diseases, among other biomedical diseases.