New research finds that African-American youth whose anxiety levels are elevated by everyday struggles will overproduce the stress hormone cortisol into adulthood.

Researchers from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Medical School found that anxiety among females and alcohol use among males in their teens predict their cortisol output seven years later.

Elevated hormone levels can contribute to a variety of physical and mental health issues and have been linked to a shortened life span. The research supports earlier findings that link the challenges associated with the daily social environment to overproduction of stress hormones.

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