Monday, July 24, 2006

Hyperactive Girls More at Risk for Heart Disease

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A new study reveals girls who are hyperactive are more likely to have signs of heart problems as adults, but researchers are not sure if there's a direct cause-and-effect link.

Finnish researchers followed 708 children between ages 3 and 9 for 21 years. Researchers used ultrasound to check the thickness of the participants' arteries. Thick and clogged arteries can lead to heart disease. Participants were also asked about their habits, such as smoking.

Results show children who were hyperactive, isolated from other children, and had "a tendency towards negative mood, low self-control and aggressive outbursts" were more likely to smoke as adults. The study also revealed girls with those problems were more likely to be overweight and have high blood pressure.

Researchers say stress appears to be the main cause for the findings, not hyperactivity itself. They explain society doesn't tolerate hyperactivity so children become stressed by always hearing comments like, "Don't do that. Don't be that. Don't be so restless. Don't be so noisy."

However, doctors say hyperactivity can be treated in children, and they can grow up to lead better lives without any negative outcomes.

SOURCE: Psychosomatic Medicine, 2006;68(4)

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