Managing a home and demanding career smoothly in today’s economy and fast-paced living is by no means an ordinary feat. Yet it's one that we expect ourselves to keep up with.
Many of us have experienced waking up to the alarm in the morning feeling rushed to send our children to school and get ourselves to work on time.
Unfortunately, the consistent stress of modern day living slowly builds inroads into our psychology. It leaves many of us feeling anxious through most of the workday though there is no real perceived threat to our physical security.
New research now says that those of us who are prone to anxiety, especially in the forties and fifties, tend to age faster.
The study that was conducted at Brigham and Women's Hospital shows that a common type of anxiety known as phobic anxiety causes our telomeres to shorten, subsequently accelerating the aging process.
This is especially true for middle-aged and older women. (1)
Phobic anxiety is a disproportionate dread of an anticipated situation or thing. Such situations or things that cause dread are thus avoided by those who suffer from phobic anxiety.
Common types of phobic anxieties are social phobia and agoraphobia (fear of open spaces). However, this avoidance causes the afflicted person to live a sub-optimal life. (2)
Telomeres are essentially a repetitive sequence of DNA material called nucleotides. Telomeres are present at both the ends of every chromosome and protect them from fusing into the next chromosome or deteriorating.
They also allow the chromosome to divide without losing genes or getting shorter after each division. However, the telomeres themselves shorten after every chromosome division, continuing to change with age until they die. (3)
Telomeres are considered markers of biological or cellular aging. Shortened telomeres are believed to be risk factors for cancers, heart disease, dementia and mortality.
The Brigham and Women’s Hospital study took a large-sized population of 5243 women between the ages 42 and 69 years and made a cross-sectional study of the participants’ blood samples.