Research at the California University suggests early death and illnesses are related to traumatic experiences. The research based on 64 studies, shows that people experiencing Post Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD) are ageing faster.
Six studies looked at the length of telomeres – these are protective caps at the end of chromosomes, it’s purpose is to stop DNA from becoming damaged. With every cell replication Telomeres shorten, therefore are considered a good measure of the aging process in cells.
The study showed that people who had experienced stress had shorter Telomeres than would be expected of an person of that age.
Anither contributing factor was increased inflammation, which is another indicator of premature ageing.
People who had suffered PTSD were also more likely to die younger, suffer from age-related diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, ulcers and dementia, all indicating that the ageing process is more rapid.
PTSD is a psychological condition that can develop from a number of stressful events, such as, sexual assault, serious road accidents, military combat and natural disasters. It has already been found to increase the risk of substance abuse, eating disorders, anger and depression.
As a result of the research, it was suggested that, PTSD should be classified as a biological illness, rather than a mental illness.
View the ordinal telegraph article here