Stress accelerates aging of immune system, USC study finds – USC News
A new USC study found that stress accelerates aging of the immune system, potentially increasing a person’s risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and illness from infections.
“As the world’s population of older adults increases, understanding disparities in age-related health is essential. Age-related changes in the immune system play a critical role in declining health,” said lead study author Eric Klopack, a postdoctoral scholar in the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. “This study helps clarify mechanisms involved in accelerated immune aging.”
Stress and anxiety are common experiences for many people. Some people are more likely to become stressed than others, depending on their genetics, level of social support, coping style, and personality type.
USC researchers queried and cross-referenced enormous data sets from the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study to see if they could tease out a connection between lifetime exposure to stress and declining vigor in the immune system.
They found that people with higher stress scores had older immune profiles.
Some sources of stress may be impossible to control, but there may be a workaround. People who experience more stress tend to have poorer diet and exercise habits.
If you’re feeling stressed, moving your body on a consistent basis may help reduce stress levels and improve mood. Exercise may also improve symptoms of common mental health conditions.
Lastly if you are feeling stressed the tendency may be to eat ‘comfort’ food when what you should be doing is exactly the opposite. So next time instead if ice cream, opt for broccoli.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- Stress accelerates aging of immune system, USC study finds USC News
- Stress Accelerates Immune Aging Neuroscience News
- Recently born generations of older adults more likely to have multiple chronic health conditions News-Medical.Net
- Stress accelerates immune aging, study finds Medical Xpress
- Research finds stress accelerates immune aging ThePrint
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