The Affects of Stress on the Human Aging Process Essay

The Affects of Stress on the Human Aging Process Essay

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Have you ever heard the saying, too much stress can cause a person to go gray? Well it turns out there is more fact to this than fiction. The past couple of months have been hard for you at your new job. The job requires you to work with unfamiliar people, in an unfamiliar place, and to top it all off you are incredibly far behind on your monthly report, which can cost you your job if not done correctly and on time. It is apparent to all your family and friends that this job is causing heightened anxiety in you, and they are worried. You aren’t as worried by the stress because you knew what you were getting into with this job, that is until you looked in the mirror. After just a few weeks on the job, you notice a couple gray hairs. Then the next week you see a few more along with new wrinkles. More and more gray hairs then wrinkles pop up and you don’t know what to do. Your family finally convinces you to take a few weeks off of work, and you surprisingly start to feel better and you haven’t seen a gray hair in a week.
You start to wonder what caused the quickening of your aging. Was it the stress from the job? Or was it just simply the human body aging normally? Recent studies, conducted by Ahola, Okereke, Prescott, and et al, deal with telomere lengths have shown that the shortening of telomere lengths lead to earlier aging. Different stressors are impactful factors in the shortening of telomere lengths, and many triggers can speed up the aging process. Through the research of telomeres, there has been proof that a person’s telomere lengths are directly correlated to the rate at which people age.
It is thought that telomeres act as a sort of cell division clock because they lose time as they shorten in size. For most cells tel...

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Lewis, R. (1998). Telomere tales. BioScience, 48(12), 981+. Retrieved from

Okereke OI, Prescott J, Wong JYY, Han J, Rexrode KM, et al. (2012). High Phobic Anxiety Is Related to Lower Leukocyte Telomere Length in Women. PLoS ONE 7(7): e40516. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040516

Prescott J, Kraft P, Chasman DI, Savage SA, Mirabello L, et al. (2011) Genome-Wide Association Study of Relative Telomere Length. PLoS ONE 6(5): e19635. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019635

Steakley, L. (2012). Study Suggests Anticipation of Stress May Accelerate Cellular Aging. Retrieved from

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