Stress Ages Us More Quickly

Stress Ages Us More Quickly
The folk wisdom that stress accelerates aging has been confirmed at the DNA level. Telomeres are the “ends” of DNA strands. They shorten with each cell division, so they’re a good marker of aging. Elissa Epel at UCSF tested 58 women, aged 20 to 50, checking self-reported stress levels and telomere length. The high-stress women’s were shorter, corresponding to between 9 and 17 years of cell aging. (Original research in Proc. National Academy of Sciences, reported in New Scientist, 4 Dec 2004.) (12/8)

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