Stress can spark colds

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INCREASED stress makes carers for children with autism more likely to get colds, coughs and headaches.

Heightened stress linked to caring duties make parents of autistic children more likely to suffer ill health, according to North East researchers.

Northumbria University academics have published the research in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology this month, which is also National Autism month.

The study looked at the physical and psychological well-being of carers and discovered higher levels of C-reactive protein in them, a marker of inflammation linked to increased risk of developing coronary heart disease and diabetes.

Psychologist Dr Mark Wetherell said: “Parents of children with autism face tremendous physical, financial, emotional and social pressures. The consequences are far-reaching.”