Health briefs

  • Updated: May 17, 2014 - 4:12 PM

Toast summer with a chilled glass of red wine to serve with a cheeseburger. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

bullies may benefit into adulthood

Bullies may gain health benefits that last into adulthood from their behavior, researchers said. And in turn, children who are bullied can suffer long-lasting inflammation.

Researchers found that 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 9-21.

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. It suggested that a bully’s increased social status might have biological advantages, the scientists said. The study was published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

autistic adults suffer other woes

Adults with autism are much more likely than others to suffer from depression, high blood pressure, obesity and additional health woes that may partly result from their social isolation, new research suggests.

They’re also much less likely to smoke and drink alcohol, a paradoxical finding since those habits can contribute to many conditions that disproportionately affect autistic adults. Scientists say that could mean that their biologic makeup contributes to some of the illnesses.

The study of 2,100 adults with autism spectrum disorder is one of the largest, most comprehensive such efforts and highlights a need for better strategies to treat them, said Lisa Croen, the lead author and director of the autism research program at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif. Here’s a look at key results for adults with autism and without.

Depression: 38% vs. 17%

Suicide attempts: 1.6% vs. .3%

High blood pressure: 27% vs. 19%

Cholesterol issues: 26% vs. 18%

Obesity: 27% vs. 16%

Alcohol use: 23% vs. 53%

Smoking: 16% vs. 30%

Hold off on that glass of red wine

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