It’s well known that negative stress can impact one’s health. A new study has shown that stress can cause your immune system to age faster, a condition called immunosenescence.
Immunosenescence occurs as people age. Basically a person’s immune system simply becomes weaker and more worn down with age.
Aging of the immune system is associated with cancer and cardiovascular disease, along with other health conditions.
This recent study involved researchers at USC surveying huge databases of people in the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study. This study looked at the situation of older Americans, including their health status.
Stress Makes Your Immune System Age
The researchers sent a questionnaire to 5,744 adults over age 50 from the study. They also analyzed the blood samples from the participants.
As expected, the researchers found that participants who indicated they had higher stress in their lives showed immune profiles that seemed older than what they should be for their age.
To complicate matters, stress can also affect one’s diet and exercise behavior negatively, thus adding to the immune aging.
However, on the positive side, improving one’s diet and exercise can offset the aging affect that stress can have on one’s immune system.
Off course, learning to deal with negative stress could be the most important factor.
Source: Social stressors associated with age-related T lymphocyte percentages in older US adults: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study