Divorce affects children in many ways, but aside from the probable emotional scars that it may cause, researchers from the University College London say that the resulting falling-out may affect kids physically as well, Science Daily reports.

In a study based on data from 7,462 individuals who took part in the 1958 National Child Development Study, experts found that children whose  parents separated before they reached age 16 were more likely to suffer from inflammation by age 44, due to a 16 percent increase in C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation. Consistent high levels of C-protein can trigger conditions such as coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Researchers believe that the repercussions of divorce are responsible for inflammation. "Our study suggests that it is not parental divorce or separation per se which increases the risk of later inflammation, but that it is other social disadvantages, such as how well the child does in education, which are triggered by having experienced parental divorce, which are important," explains lead author Dr. Rebecca Lacey.

The same effects could also apply locally for children whose mothers and fathers have legally separated or gotten their marriage annulled. In such cases, parents should assure their children that they will continue to give them full support in all aspects of their lives.

(Photo by Ryan Glanzer via sxc.hu)

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