The current study aims to compare the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) between patients with schizophrenia and non-psychiatric control group, and to analyze the association of having suffered multiple ACEs with clinical symptoms of schizophrenia and suicidal behavior. A multicenter, cross-sectional study was conducted across three facilities in Buenos Aires, Argentina. One-hundred patients with schizophrenia and 50 healthy subjects were assessed with the Adverse Childhood Experiences questionnaire (ACE-Q), the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), and the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS). We observed that the prevalence of at least one ACE in schizophrenic patients was almost double in comparison with the non-psychiatric control group. Multiple ACEs were associated with persistent auditory hallucinations and lower negative symptoms in both sexes. Higher frequency of death ideation and a higher number of suicide attempts were reported among women. The strength of this study is the possibility of comparing the presence of ACEs between schizophrenic patients and non-psychiatric control using the same questionnaire in an under-reported sample of low socio-economic patients assisted in public hospitals. A limitation is that the history of ACEs relied on the retrospective assessment of childhood experiences, and adults could over-report ACEs because of recall bias.
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