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Researchers Link Teen Bullying To Middle Age Medical Issues

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CBS Miami (con't)

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Healthy Living

MIAMI (CBS4) – Sad school days are now being linked to illness in middle age.

Those bullies may not just make your childhood miserable, it may affect your health decades later.

“I was a little more introverted as a child,” Jodi Albertini admitted. “I cried every day after school. I cried myself to sleep at night.  I had really, really deep painful feelings.”

Albertini was bullied as a kid.

“At recess we were the outcasts,” she said.

The scars from her childhood are showing their effects decades later in the way of health issues.

Swedish researchers analyzed data from a study that tracked the health habits of nine hundred 16 year olds for 27 years. The results linked unpopularity and social isolation to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, bad blood fats and lack of good cholesterol.

This is known as metabolic syndrome and increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

“I can see the correlation, absolutely,” said Hollywood Psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Bober.

Dr. Bober said the connection is there. Kids can have problems affecting their cortisol level, that’s the stress hormone that linked with older age means health issues later in life.

“They have higher level of cortisol which leads to obesity, high blood sugar and cholesterol problems,” said Bober.

As you age, your body can’t suppress the problems anymore.

“As you get older your metabolism slows.  You have higher body fat.  You’re not as resilient as you once were,” said Bober.

Albertini said knowing the problems that are popping up as she ages helps her prepare for what’s ahead.

“Trauma, especially in childhood, are the ones that stick with us.  It was very lonely,” said Albertini.

So what’s the solution?  Dr. Bober says parents, schools and society are responsible to make sure kids have a happy environment as they’re growing up.

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