Aggression linked to poor health

Aggression linked to poor health

The research found a strong link between childhood aggression and increase in lifestyle-related illnesses, such as obesity, diabetes, alcohol dependence among others.

The study involving over 3,000 youths in Canada found that childhood aggression resulted in 8.1 per cent increase in their medical visits, 10.7 per cent up in injuries and 44.2 per cent increase in lifestyle-related illnesses. Childhood aggression in young women (18 to 23 years old) was also found to have resulted in higher use of gynaecologic services.

For this study, the researchers used data that involved 3913 people, who were in grades 1, 4 and 7 from 1976 to 1978 but received health care between 1992 and 2006.

“Our results confirm that there are specific behavioural characteristics, identifiable in childhood, that can have enduring consequences to physical health and can predict increased use of health services in adulthood,” Dr Caroline Temcheff of University of Sherbrooke and co-authors wrote.

“Childhood aggression should be considered a health risk when designing interventions to improve public health, particularly those targeting children and families.” According to the researchers, childhood aggression directly and positively predicted overall use of health services in adulthood for the participants of this study.

“These associations were seen even when controlling for the effects of sex, education and neighbourhood poverty.”

“The direction of these effects is consistent with research suggesting that adults with larger social networks seem to have better health outcomes than those who are less socially connected,” the authors said.

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