It is well known that adults who have higher degrees of stress are at an increased chance of catching an infectious disease but is the same true for children? A study considered this issue by examining the effect of a stressful event (parental death, death of a sibling, or parental divorce) on whether a child before the age of 15 was more likely to be hospitalized due to an infectious disease.
- Children who suffered one of the above life stressors were 13% more likely to have a less severe infectious disease.
- Specifically, parental divorce increased the likelihood of contracting an infectious disease by 11%.
- Curiously, following a parent’s death, children were not more likely to catch an infectious disease.
- Following a sibling’s death, children were 34% more likely to contract a less severe infectious disease.
Abstract: Stressful life events in childhood and risk of infectious disease hospitalization, European Journal of Pediatrics