What’s worse than being an ostracized teenage girl at school? Growing up and suffering from heart disease and diabetes because of it.
According to a Swedish study, women are more likely to be obese, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and are more likely to develop diabetes by their early 40s if they were bullied as girls.
The study followed nearly 900 students in Sweden, ages 16 to 43.
“The effects of peer problems during secondary school on middle-age health were much stronger in females than males, according to the study, published in the journal PLoS One.
The academics, from the universities of Umea and Stockholm, found those who had the worst time at school socially — being bullied, cast out or isolating themselves — tended to be at the highest risk of poor health by their early 40s.”
The study also noted that it didn’t just affect girls on the extreme end of the spectrum. “Our results support the notion that aspects of peer relationships are not only related to future health in the extreme end of the spectrum, e.g. restricted to those exposed to bullying or peer victimization, but that one’s difficulties with peers are represented by a health gradient in adulthood.”