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Impulsivity tied to increased odds of contracting an STD

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Individuals who had impulse control problems during childhood may benefit from STD testing, as a new study from Duke University researchers has shown that impulsive children are more likely to have sexually transmitted diseases as adults.

In addition to the increased STD risk, individuals who had trouble controlling their behavior in childhood are also more likely to have gum disease, high cholesterol, breathing difficulty, credit card debt and no savings. They were also at greater risk of abusing drugs as adults and being single parents.

"These adult outcomes were predictable across the entire spectrum of self-control scores, from low to high," said Terrie Moffitt, the principal investigator on the research.

For the study, researchers surveyed the parents and teachers of a group of more than 1,000 toddlers. The care providers were asked about the child's ability to control their impulses. The researchers then followed up with the participants 30 years later.

Moffitt added due to the fact that impulsive individuals are more likely to raise a child alone, they may pass their impulsive characteristics on to their future generations, which may make their offspring more likely to contract an STD. 

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