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First sister study results reinforce the importance of healthy living
Date:3/16/2009

mere length among women with the highest levels of stress hormones," said Christine Parks, Ph.D., an NIEHS epidemiologist and lead author on the paper. "Among women with both higher perceived stress and elevated levels of the stress hormone epinephrine, the difference in telomere length was equivalent to or greater than the effects of being obese, smoking or 10 years of aging."

The researchers also found that the effects of stress may be stronger in older women. They found that among women 55 years and older, those with higher perceived stress had 5 percent shorter telomeres than women with low stress levels. "More research is needed to determine if the shortening of telomeres in these women is related to aging or hormonal differences in the stress response, or simply represents the accumulated effects of stress across the lifespan," said Parks.

"These papers remind us that there are things people can do to modify their behavior and live healthier lives, such as maintain a healthy weight and cultivate healthy responses to stress," said Birnbaum.


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Contact: Robin Mackar
rmackar@niehs.nih.gov
919-541-0073
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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