Study Shows That Stress Accelerates Aging

A study from Yale University has found that stress accelerates the DNA changes that people undergo as they age.

Scientists have previously discovered that the epigenetic clock, which everyone has, is the best predictor for how long they will live. The team used the GrimAge epigenetic clock to examine if stress can affect it. They also looked into ways of slowing down the aging process.

The researchers concluded that while stress can spend up aging, people could work on their self-control and emotional regulation to reduce the impact it has on their epigenetic clocks.

How researchers conducted the study

The researchers gathered 444 volunteers between 19 and 50 years. They asked them for their blood samples and used them to examine their health using GrimAge and other factors. The volunteers also filled questionnaires measuring their stress levels and their resilience to mental strain.

The team concluded that stress increased the rate of aging. Moreover, they found that some participants developed insulin resistance. They made sure to account for income, race, body mass index, and smoking habits to come to their conclusion.

The researchers excluded pregnant volunteers, had a history of drug abuse, a chronic disease, or had head injury. They also subjected participants to a urine test and breathalyzers before each experiment to determine whether they took any drugs.

Previous studies have shown how chronic stress could cause health problems like obesity, heart disease, mental health problems, and addiction. Moreover, it limits a person’s ability to think clearly and regulate their emotional response.

Emotional regulations limited the impact of stress

Despite their findings, the researchers concluded that not all participants had the same impacts from stress. For instance, the participants with more self-control and emotional regulation experienced fewer effects. They even had lower insulin resistance and aging.

According to Zachary Harvanek, a study co-author, while the study confirms that stress ages us, it also gives solutions to reduce its impact. People should learn how to remain calm during stress to live longer.

Rajita Sinha, a neuroscience professor, adds that people like it have agency over their future. This study encourages people to take care of their mental health to control their fate.

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