In the stories that tend to percolate through popular culture, school bullies find themselves washed up in dead-end jobs and go-nowhere lives, while their former nerd victims launch world-changing tech empires and wallow in the rewards that follow.
Real-life narratives are rarely so satisfying. Further proof comes from anew study published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last week. It found the victims of bullying had higher levels of a blood marker associated with inflammation and a greater risk of health problems such as metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease later in life. But the bullies themselves appeared even healthier than those not involved in bullying at all, at least by one measure of inflammation.