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 Being Bullied is Bad for Your Health - from the New York Times

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PostSubject: Being Bullied is Bad for Your Health - from the New York Times   Wed May 14, 2014 4:47 pm

New York Times - Being Bullied Is Bad for Your Health
By NICHOLAS BAKALAR   
May 12, 2014, 3:08 pm

Victims of bullying may develop long-term physical and mental health problems, and now researchers have found one possible reason: Being bullied raises the blood’s level of C-reactive protein, or CRP, a marker of systemic inflammation and a risk factor for cardiovascular and other diseases.

Scientists followed 1,420 boys and girls ages 9 to 21, interviewing bullies, victims and their parents. They assessed CRP levels with periodic blood tests.

After controlling for initial levels of CRP and for many factors that affect it — sex, age, race and various health and socioeconomic issues — the researchers found that CRP levels in victims increased in direct proportion to the number of bullying incidents they experienced.

Bullies, in contrast, had low increases in CRP, even lower than those in children not involved in bullying at all. The finding suggested that a bully’s increased social status might have biological advantages, the scientists said. Their study was published online on Monday in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“The only other kind of social adversity where we see this kind of long-term effect is in children who are physically abused or neglected,” said the lead author, William E. Copeland, an associate professor of psychiatry at Duke. “We don’t think about bullying the same way, but I’m moving toward the position that we should. This kind of social defeat is more potent and long-lasting than we previously thought.”
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