Parents’ Divorce can damage a child’s immune system – Study

1824, child's immune system

A study in United States has found that children of broken homes are likely going to have low immunity later in life.

The lead author of the study, Dr Michael Murphy, from Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, said: ‘Early-life stressful experiences do something to our physiology and inflammatory processes that increase risk for poorer health and chronic illness. This work is a step forward in our understanding of how family stress during childhood may influence a child’s susceptibility to disease 20 to 40 years later.’

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But the study said the risk of children whose parents cut off contact is higher, saying their counterparts whose parents stay on speaking terms after a split are far less likely to fall ill in later life.

The study believe children’s immune systems are damaged by the stress of an unhappy broken family and that may also explain rising rates of asthma and heart disease seen in children of divorce.

Narrating the processes taken before conclusion was drawn, Daily Mail reports that 201 healthy adults were quarantined in a hotel and given nasal drops containing rhinovirus, which causes the common cold.

It added that they were monitored for five days for the development of a respiratory illness.
Of the group, 109 had parents who stayed together through their childhood while forty-one separated but stayed on speaking terms. Fifty-one were children whose parents lived apart and never spoke.

During the test 149 participants showed signs of infection, and of these 60 developed a full blown cold.

In the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the results showed that adults whose parents lived apart and never spoke during their childhood were more than three times as likely to develop a cold compared to those from intact families.
However individuals whose parents were separated but communicated with each other showed no increase in risk compared to the intact families.

Culled from Daily Mail

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