Stressful job could make you old and sick before your time, confirmed a new Finnish study. The study escorted by Kirsi Ahola from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, measured the length of DNA sections known as telomeres and how the lengths varied in relationship to job stress.
Researchers found that people who suffer from the most job stress are likely to have smaller telomeres. They are situated at ends of chromosomes and serve as a type of protective cap to the ropy strands. They help assuring that the genetic instructions carried by genes on the chromosomes are precisely translated so cells get the right messages.
For their study researchers examined blood cells called leukocytes that are vital to immune function of nearly three thousand people aged between thirty and sixty-five. The study showed that workers who suffered severe exhaustion from job stress had drastically shorter leukocyte telomeres compared to their moderately stress-free counterparts.
However, it seems that exhausted wage earners have more to concern about than crow’s feet, wrinkles and greying locks. Shortening the length of telomeres has been associated with several diseases such as Parkinson’s, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. In brief, remaining in a continuous state of anxiety at your workplace could make you premature old,
In addition to that it could expose you to illnesses associated with aging. Telomeres get shorten with age, oxidation and chemical insults. Often, when telomeres reach a seriously short length, the cell dies in a process called apoptosis. Some cells do not die, but rather become senescent and start making genetic errors and causing damage.
She believes that these results should be used when considering health hazards and work place legislation. Chronic work stress can become a health risk and should be prevented. She added both individual and environmental factors affect the experience of stress, therefore the same objective workplace conditions could have greater or lesser effects depending upon personal traits.
The research appeared in the journal PloS One this month.