New research from UCLA scientists linking stress during teenage years to heart disease in adult life provides yet another lesson in the importance of stress control and management.
Based on a study of otherwise healthy adolescents who reported negative interpersonal interactions, such as conflicts with family and friends or peer harassment, the researchers found greater frequency of stress was associated with higher levels of an inflammatory marker called C-reactive protein.
"[This is] consistent with the emerging body of evidence that points to the link between stress and increased inflammation, which places individuals at risk for the later development of cardiovascular disease," says Dr. Andrew J. Fuligni, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA.
The study also found that the association of stress with inflammation existed regardless of individual teens’ subjective evaluation of stressful experiences, he added.
The study appeared in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.
Alternative medicine therapies such as meditation, massage or acupuncture have been known to relieve symptoms – including headaches, muscle aches and fatigue – in those suffering from high levels of stress and anxiety.