Mental Health News – Scientists have recently developed ‘epigenetic clocks’ to measure biological age by tracking chemical changes in DNA. A study used one such clock named ‘GrimAge’ to ask: How much does chronic stress accelerate that biological clock? And are there ways to slow it down and extend a healthy lifespan?
In a new study, researchers at Yale University assigned 444 people aged between 19-50 years and asked them to provide their blood samples. These samples were used to evaluate the age-related chemical changes captured by GrimAge as well as other markers of health. The participants were also asked to answer questions that were designed to reveal stress levels and psychological resilience.
After accounting for several demographic and behavioral factors, including body mass index, race, smoking, and income, it was found that participants who scored high on measures related to chronic stress reported accelerated aging markers and physiological changes like increased insulin resistance.
As per the research result, stress didn’t affect every participant’s health to the same degree. The findings showed that people who scored high on two psychological resilience measures (emotion regulation and self-control) were more resilient to the effects of stress on aging and insulin resistance.
“These results support the popular notion that stress makes us age faster. But they also suggest a promising way to possibly minimize these adverse consequences of stress through strengthening emotion regulation and self-control,” said Zachary Harvanek, one of the lead researchers of the study. According to him, the more an individual will be psychologically resilient, the higher the likelihood he/she will be live a longer and healthier life.
To Know More You May Refer To:
Harvanek, Z.M., Fogelman, N., Xu, K. et al. Psychological and biological resilience modulates the effects of stress on epigenetic aging. Transl Psychiatry 11, 601 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-021-01735-7