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HHS HealthBeat (June 30, 2014)

Inflammatory bullying

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates that being bullied as a kid can raise a potential risk factor for heart disease in grown-ups. At Duke University School of Medicine, William Copeland saw signs of this in blood samples from among 1,420 people followed for more than 20 years. He checked for CRP, a blood protein that fights inflammation – but which is associated with risk of heart disease if it stays high for a long time:

“Victims of bullying – particularly people that had been chronically bullied – saw the largest increases in their rates of CRP from childhood into their mid-twenties.”

He says the findings in bullying are similar to the effects of other psychological stress on CRP.

The study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: June 30, 2014