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Full-time job + stress = accelerated aging

The combination of a full-time job and a lot of stress is so unhealthy that it probably makes you age faster. This is suggested by an American study in which several hundred women participated.

Full-time job + stress = accelerated aging

In 2011, epidemiologists at the National Institutes of Health published a study involving 608 women aged 35-74.

Using questionnaires, the researchers determined how stressful the women found their lives and at the same time looked at how much stress hormone was present in the women's blood. The researchers also measured the length of their telomeres in the women's cells.

Telomeres shorten during the aging process. The faster this happens, the faster the aging process proceeds.

If the study participants had a full-time job, considered their lives stressful and also had a lot of the stress and pep hormone epinephrine in their blood, their telomeres were significantly shorter than the other test subjects. The association was still present after the researchers filtered out other lifestyle factors, as fas they could.

Full-time job + stress = accelerated aging

The researchers also looked at another stress hormone, cortisol. They found no statistically significant associations.

Stress reduction
It is already well known that chronic stress is unhealthy and can reduce telomere length. Fortunately, making a healthier lifestyle - such as reducing stress - can increase the activity of the enzyme telomerase in the short term. Telomerase makes telomeres longer.

In 2011, American doctors showed that an improvement in lifestyle, which included stress reduction, increased telomerase activity within 3 months in prostate cancer patients. [Lancet Oncol. 2008 Nov;9(11):1048-57.] Five years later, the patients' telomeres had also become longer compared to subjects who had not changed their lifestyle. [Lancet Oncol. 2013 Oct;14(11):1112-20.]

Occup Environ Med. 2011 Aug;68(8):582-9.

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Psychology of Longevity

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