STUDY: Being spanked as a child leads to higher cancer risk

(WXYZ) - Smoking, tanning beds, exposure to radiation and even genetics have all been linked to cancer. But what about spanking?

British researchers suggest children who are abused may be at greater risk of developing cancer, heart disease and asthma.

A study done by Plymouth University's School of Psychology says hitting or yelling can increase a child's stress. Researchers found increased stress can trigger biological changes that could lead to health issues later in life.

The study looked at healthy adults in Saudi Arabia. It asked if they had been physically or verbally abused as kids.

Researchers found those who had cancer were 70 percent more likely to have been abused as a child compared to healthy adults.

Those with asthma were 60 percent more likely to have been beaten and heart disease 30 percent more likely.

The study is published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

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