Childhood stress accelerates ageing process

Stress and neglect in early childhood have an effect on the length of a biological marker of ageing known as telomere.

Telomeres, which occur at the end of chromosomes, naturally shorten during chromosome replication but recent studies have found that environmental factors such as stress are associated with telomere shortening during adulthood.

Such accelerated shortening of telomere length has been linked to health problems such as heart disease and cognitive decline. How childhood adversity affects telomere length has been unclear until now.

The findings provide a greater understanding of the impact of early adversity on cellular fitness throughout life.

Read more at Molecular Psychiatry