Stress, Poverty May Affect Biological Aging

The Washington Post (4/18) reports that physiological stress and psychological stress both “have molecular underpinnings,” according to Richard J. Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging. The article mentions a study published last year that found “social stress” may result in shorter telomeres and “can have similar effects on a different measure of biological aging: the methylation pattern of DNA.”

Researchers “used a methylation-based ‘clock’ to estimate the biological age of 100 black women in the United States who have been followed since 1997” and found that nearly “70 percent of women whose family’s per-capita income was less than $3,900 per year showed ‘accelerated aging’ compared with the group average.” The Post adds that, “higher-than-average biological age was also strongly associated with financial pressure, defined as difficulty paying monthly bills.”

Related Links:

— “Stress and poverty may make you old before your time,” David Brown, Washington Post, April 18, 2016.

Posted in In The News.