Childhood poverty, poor support may drive up pregnant woman’s biological age

Researchers at The Ohio State University collected blood from 81 pregnant women and then surveyed them to gauge levels of known stressors such as low socioeconomic status and a history of abuse. The scientists then measured the telomeres of the participants’ blood using qPCR, the proprietary method used by TeloYears. They found that the pregnant women that reported lower socioeconomic status, lower levels of social support and a history of abuse had shorter telomeres than women that reported a lower incidence of stress and trauma. The researchers state that pregnant women that report greater levels of stress are at higher risk for complications such as pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes and hypothesize that accelerated biological aging as measured via telomere length could be a possible mechanism that links high levels of stress to poor gestational health outcomes.

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