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Presentation by Jack Shonkoff, M.D. given at the 2010 RWJF LFP Annual Meeting in St. Paul, MN.
Research indicates that significant adversities in the early childhood years, such as from abuse or neglect and exposure to violence, can disrupt developing brain architecture and other organ systems and lead to higher rates of stress-related physical and mental health problems later in life.
Science suggests that a range of early childhood policies and programs may hold the key to lifelong health promotion and disease prevention. Above and beyond improving a child’s readiness to succeed in school, we may be able to affect cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse.