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More Evidence That Stress Accelerates Biological Aging

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Do you tend to take stress too often? Is stress affecting your sleep, appetite, and happiness? If your answer is yes, then be careful! You may be susceptible to premature aging. Recent studies have shown that stress is one of the leading causes of premature aging and several other health complications associated with age.

Genetic markers determine an organism’s age. This process, commonly known as methylation, includes the length of telomeres. It involves the usage of a popular model known as epigenetic clock, which examines the amount of methylation on the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). 

While we discuss the impact of stress on an individual’s biological age, it would be interesting to learn about a few techniques and tools that help us measure this. One such popular tool is the epigenetic clock.

What is an epigenetic clock?

An epigenetic clock measures age by measuring the methylation levels of the DNA. This technique was developed in the past few decades to determine an individual’s biological age.

One of the most successful and effective epigenetic clocks is GrimAge. It was developed in 2019 and has accurately predicted biological aging and all-cause mortality. Medical experts believe that the GrimAge model can predict the impact of stress in individuals with mental health issues. However, the effect of stress on the general population is unknown.

A study determined the impact of stress in healthy populations

A study was conducted between 2008 and 2012 involving 444 individuals aged 18 to 50 to identify the link between stress and aging. Part of this study involved clinical interviews highlighting how cumulative stress and psychiatric illness could cause faster aging. The researchers also collected the blood samples from the participants that were used for epigenetic measurements.

The research excluded pregnant women and some participants with past medical conditions, such as head injuries, substance abuse, and other chronic diseases.

Researchers collected the data following a physical health review. These data included the participants’ overall health, insulin, cortisol levels, and fasting glucose.

Researchers also recorded each participant’s background information about drinking and smoking habits, relationship status, and racial identification.

Results of the study

After extensive studies, experts concluded that cumulative stress speeds up aging; however, resilience can slow it down. With the help of GrimAge researchers also established a direct and a strong connection between cumulative stress and faster aging.


One breakthrough of the study shows that emotional control and resilience can lessen the impact of stress on accelerated aging. Self-control is also one factor that moderates the link between insulin resistance and stress. It reduces premature aging.

The study, however, did not provide researchers with methods to prevent the effect of stress on aging. However, they could strongly conclude that natural actions and an emotional balance can resolve stress-related premature aging.




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