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Unhappy childhood linked to heart risk in later life

By Layne Weiss     Feb 2, 2013 in Health
A study has found that being stressed and emotional as a child may be linked with heart disease in the middle age, mostly women. Children with trouble focusing were at a higher risk of developing heart disease in later life.
Children who had an easier time focusing had a much lower risk of developing heart disease, BBC News reports.
The researchers studied 377 adults who had also been studied as children. They all underwent emotional testing at the age of 7.
The US research team, led by Dr Allison Appleton at Dartmouth University said more research needs to be done to better understand this link. The researchers have recorded their findings in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.
"We know that persistent distress can cause dysregulation of the stress response and that is something we want to look at," Dr. Appleton said.
Maureen Talbot, a senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation said that while it s known there is a link between a child's mental health and his/her wellbeing as an adult, "the association between heart disease and mental health is very complex and not fully understand."
A study on the "association between positive psychological well-being and cardiovascular health" at the British Heart Foundation was published in April, 2012. One of the biggest recommendations was for healthcare professionals to try a holistic approach to healthcare and not just a traditional one, as a reminder that poor mental health can have extremely detrimental effects on physical health.
Maureen Talbot also said parents can start early to ensure a healthy future for their kids, BBC News reports.
"What we learn when we're young can often set the tone for our habits later than life," she said." So teaching children about physical activity and a balanced diet is a great place to start."
There have also been studies conducted linking childhood trauma to adult alcoholism. Alcoholism can be linked to other factors such as genetics. For children who have trouble focusing due to attention disorders, a healthy diet and certain forms of activity and exercise may help children to grow up healthy and lower their risk of illness as adults, but any research linking childhood unhappiness and adult heart disease should examine the reasoning behind the trauma or stress.
More about unhappy childhood, Anxiety, adult social phobia, Alcoholism, heart risk
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