Stress

Stress can speed up biological aging – but psychological resilience can slow it down

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Our earwax could reveal our stress levels, a new study has found.
Our earwax could reveal our stress levels, a new study has found.
Aleksei Morozov

Measuring humans' biological age has become possible – scientists use a biomedical test that tracks chemical changes in human DNA that occur as people age, but at different times in different people.

Termed "epigenetic clocks", they have played a key role in helping health experts and officials assess predictors of lifespan and health – much better than chronological age. (Chronological age is the time that has passed since your birth, while biological ageing is more complex and takes into account lifestyle, genetics, and diseases over and above chronological age.)

Using a particular epigenetic clock, GrimAge, researchers at Yale University focused their study on chronic stress and how much this condition can accelerate that biological clock.

Their findings confirm that stress promotes faster ageing. On the bright side, however, the scientists added that individuals can help manage these effects through emotion regulation and self-control.

The paper was published in Translational Psychiatry.

Stress and aging in a young population 

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