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What is the UCSF stress study about?

By | October 21st, 2020

Elizabeth Blackburn was looking at a caregiver group vs not, and asking if there are markers of stress in their blood. They looked at the ends of the chromosomes at the telomeres, which determines how you age. The shorter they are, the more aged your cells are. And there was a correlation between age and caregiving: the more you were a caregiver, the shorter your telomeres were. They came up with a number, 13 years, but they then continued the work to see what exactly would be the correlation. They looked at hormone levels, length of time as a caregiver, and tried to quantify their results. What was actually the predictor, was your own report of how stressed you were. Something we felt was very subjective and personal was actually the predictor.

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