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High to Moderate Levels of Stress Lead to Higher Mortality Rate

High to Moderate Levels of Stress Lead to Higher Mortality Rate

Science Daily

 

ScienceDaily (Oct. 20, 2011) - A new study concludes that men who experience persistently moderate or high levels of stressful life events over a number of years have a 50 percent higher mortality rate.

In general, the researchers found only a few protective factors against these higher levels of stress -- people who self-reported that they had good health tended to live longer and married men also fared better. Moderate drinkers also lived longer than non-drinkers.

 

"Being a teetotaler and a smoker were risk factors for mortality," said Carolyn Aldwin, lead author of the study and a professor of human development and family sciences at Oregon State University. "So perhaps trying to keep your major stress events to a minimum, being married and having a glass of wine every night is the secret to a long life."

 

This is the first study to show a direct link between stress trajectories and mortality in an aging population. Unlike previous studies that were conducted in a relatively short term with smaller sample sizes, this study was modified to document major stressors -- such as death of a spouse or a putting a parent into a retirement home -- that specifically affect middle-aged and older people.