By Dr. Brian McDonough

KYW Medical Report Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

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

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.

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.