Whether it’s growing up in gut-wrenching poverty, dealing with dysfunctional family dynamics, or coping with persistent bullying in school, extreme adversity can shatter a child’s sense of emotional well-being. But does it also place kids at higher of developing heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions as adults?
Katherine Ehrlich, a researcher at University of Georgia, Athens, wants to take a closer look at this question. She recently received a 2018 NIH Director’s New Innovators Award to study whether acute or chronic psychosocial stress during childhood might sensitize the body’s immune system to behave in ways that damage health, possibly over the course of a lifetime.
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