By Dr. Brian McDonough

KYW Medical Report Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Coronary artery calcification can be detected on CT scans or other studies and have been linked with heart disease.

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We are not certain when the damage begins but most experts say it can start early in life.  Now a report in the journal Pediatrics finds that  kids with emotionally healthy childhoods seem to have a lower risk of coronary artery calcification as adults when compared to other children.

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The researchers said there were certain things that helped prevent the changes in the vessels:  self-regulatory behavior, positive health behaviors among parents, and socioeconomic status all seemed to have an impact. Positive experience had a dramatic effect. We know that as adults there are other risk factors associated with heart disease: things like BMI, cholesterol, high blood pressure, glucose, smoking, and social support all play a role.   But this report shows how our experiences as children can definitely have an impact.