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Childhood Aggression Linked to Stressful Birth

Babies who suffer a difficult birth, and are delivered using forceps, are more likely to develop problems such as aggression. Researchers believe that the behavioral problems may be linked to high levels of cortisol, a hormone produced in conditions of stress.

The highest levels of cortisol are found in babies born by means of assisted vaginal delivery using forceps or vacuum extraction.

Reuters reports:

“The study involved 4,190 children who were born in China's southern provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangsu, and they were assessed between the age of 4 and 6 for problems such as being withdrawn, anxious, depressed, attention difficulties and delinquent and aggressive behavior.”

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