Chronic Stress and Health

written by Nancy Hepp, MS
Research and Communications Specialist

Nathan Seppa at ScienceNews published a summary of the state of knowledge about the effects of chronic stress on health. The summary draws from research on the effects of stress on heart attacks, stroke, cancer, premature childbirth, type 2 diabetes, telomere length, asthma and even the common cold. Seppa writes:

Chronic stress is the kind that comes from recurring pain, post-traumatic memories, unemployment, family tension, poverty, childhood abuse, caring for a sick spouse or just living in a sketchy neighborhood. Nonstop, low-grade stress contributes directly to physical deterioration, adding to the risk of heart attack, stroke, infection and asthma. Even recovery from cancer becomes harder.

Scientists have now identified many of the biological factors linking stress to these medical problems. The evidence centers on nagging inflammation and genetic twists that steer cells off a healthy course, resulting in immune changes that allow ailments to take hold or worsen.

Read the full article on the ScienceNews site.

One thought on “Chronic Stress and Health

  1. As the world becomes increasingly unhealthy due to the permissions to pollute for profit while downloading the costs to those who suffer the effects, and the difficulties most people face in avoiding exposures (or even knowing about them) and being able to afford precautionary measures (such as the costs of air and water purification systems for the home, masks to wear outside, or medications to deal with symptoms as most people are taught to think that’s the answer, …), as inequality is also at the highest level ever and the barriers to change also increase, the circumstances cause even more stress…

    It’s a good thing that mindfulness meditation is being taught more, as coping skills are definitely helpful, but personal coping skills are not enough in this day and age, when the stressors have become systemic…

    It’s the system that has to change.

    linda sepp
    seriously “sensitive” to pollution

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