There's the old lyrics, "Don't Worry, Be Happy."
Well, new research shows that worry actually speeds aging by degrading and modifying DNA.
Harvard researchers looked at 5,243 women and found that those with high phobic anxiety were more likely to have shorter telomeres.
The women with high anxiety had DNA damage similar to being six years older than their actual age!
"Many people wonder about whether—and how—stress can make us age faster," said Olivia Okereke, MD, MS, BWH Department of Psychiatry, study author. "So, this study is notable for showing a connection between a common form of psychological stress—phobic anxiety—and a plausible mechanism for premature aging. However, this type of study design cannot prove cause-and-effect or which problem came first—the anxiety or shorter telomeres."
High Phobic Anxiety Is Related to Lower Leukocyte Telomere Length in Women