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Children Unhappy at School More Prone to Health Issues Later in Life: Study

Update Date: Jul 02, 2012 01:59 AM EDT

The experience of going to school is completely different for different children. While some find school extremely boring, for some others, school is the best place to be in, all depending on their relationship with their friends and peers.

For a child who is unpopular among his/her classmates, schooldays not only become miserable, but also affects them much later in life, says a latest research.

A latest study claims that teens who remain socially isolated during school days are more prone to developing health issues ranging from obesity to high blood pressure by the time they reach their 40s.

The study results are more relevant in case of women.

Also, the adverse effects of unhappy school days are not only limited to those who were bullied at school, but also to those who were even slightly unhappy or isolated.

For the research, data from a study that tracked the health and habits of around 900 16-year-olds for 27 years was analyzed by the scientists.

To begin with, the teachers of the participants were asked to rate their students on how extroverted or introverted they were and their popularity in school.

Later, at around age 43, the participants were put under a battery of medical tests.

The study results found that people who were unpopular during school days had problems varying from obesity and diabetes to a lack of 'good' cholesterol.

It also showed that the people's unpopularity was directly proportional to the possibility of them suffering form the diseases around their middle-age.

The possible explanation given by the researchers for the link between unhappy school days and being sickly around middle-age was that perhaps loneliness raises levels of the hormone cortisol and can push blood pressure up into the danger zone for heart attacks and strokes, reports Mail Online.

High levels of the same hormone can also suppress the immune system.

Also, lonely people often experience irregular sleep, are lethargic during the day and could resort to comfort eating.

The study published in the journal PLoS ONE, conducted by researchers from Umea University is the first to associate unhappy schooldays to long-lasting medical issues.

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