Bullied girls have poor health in 40s, study suggests


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.

From The Telegraph: 

“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.”

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Bullied girls have poor health in 40s, study suggests

  1. Why is it only about helping girls?

    • This is not about gender bigotry. Rather it is about understanding trends in health and disease. One trend is the increase in incidence of heart disease in women. Men used to have the market cornered on heart disease and then for some reason women made leaps and bounds in catching up to them. Studies are done asking what changings in society and in our lifestyles bring about this different trend. This is just one study that might partially explain it and help us come up with ways to reverse it.

    • Health trends are often different for men and women. Gender affects disease and health in innumerable ways. It’s sometimes important to do gender-specific healthcare research.

      However, in the interest of gender equality, I will write a letter to my MP insisting that any further government-funded studies of prostate cancer include 50% female subjects. Do you feel better now?

  2. Traditionally, health studies have focused on men, assuming that findings would also apply to women. Health research is just beginning to play catch-up by examining women’s health directly.

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