By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Stress is not always a bad thing but sometimes it can get out of control and lead to anxiety. This can take years from your life.

Now a study has been designed to see whether fear-related anxiety is associated with changes at the cellular level. They specifically looked at telomeres. These are the protective “cap” on the ends of your chromosomes.

Telomeres shorten as we get older, so they act as a marker for aging at the cellular level.

Over the years telomeres have been studied on many occasions. Over 5000 women were studied and the researchers found those women who reported the higher levels of fear-related anxiety had shorter telomere lengths.

It is hard to determine cause and effect, but it raises questions.

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