Fear-related anxiety

Can fear-related anxiety shorten your life?

May 24, 2018 - 4:15 am
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KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Stress is not always a bad thing, but sometimes it can can get out of control and lead to anxiety. This can take years from your life. 

Now a study has been designed to see whether fear-related anxiety is associated with changes at the cellular level. Researchers specifically looked at telomeres. These are the protective “caps” on the ends of your chromosomes. Telomeres shorten as we get older, so they act as a marker for aging at the cellular level. 

Over the years, telomeres have been studied on many occasions. More than 5,000 women were studied in this case, and the researchers found those women who reported the higher levels of fear-related anxiety had shorter telomere lengths.

The lesson here is to reduce stress whenever you can.