Here’s a worry: bad behavior as a kid has been linked to early death in men.
The findings are from a study that began following 411 South London boys who were 8 to 9 years old in 1961. Among those who at age 10 displayed antisocial behavior (such as skipping school or being troublesome or dishonest) and who also were convicted of a crime by the age of 18, one in six (16.3%) had died or become disabled by the time they turned 48.
That’s nearly seven times higher than the one in 40 (2.6%) death or disability rate among men who stayed out of trouble when they were young, the study authors noted in their report in the December issue of the Journal of Public Health.
What was surprising is that the increase was not limited to substance abuse or other mental health problems known to be linked with an antisocial lifestyle, but included premature death and disability from a wide variety of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and cancer.
It’s not too surprising. The life of a young gangster must be pretty stressful, always trying to stay out of the hands of the police. We know stress raises cortisol levels and cortisol is behind most aging mischief.
[SOURCE: Journal of Public Health, news release, December 2009]