Growing up in a violent environment is likely to lead to accelerated aging and disease risk, new review of studies shows

Growing up amid violence or poverty can be linked to accelerated aging, a new review of studies shows. A young boy searches for plastic in the Anlong Pi landfill in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

(CNN)Experiencing adversity early in life is likely to make children reach puberty more quickly, increase cellular aging and alter brain development.

That's according to a new meta-review of dozens of studies published in Psychological Bulletin, a journal of the American Psychological Association.
And as the nation confronts a legacy of systemic racism and inequality, there is a need to empower pediatricians to recognize these adverse impacts early and help guide children's development earlier. That's key to reducing known health disparities among African Americans, who are at higher risk for conditions such as depression, heart disease and diabetes, the study's authors said.