Whatever is exposing you to glucocorticoids is going to shorten your life. The more hits you get, the worse your outcome.
A new study, carried out on Female baboons, found that Glucocorticoids that generate the “fight or flight” response increases the risk of dying younger, almost four or five years earlier than expected due to stress.
Representing around a 25 percent shorter lifespan of the average 19 years, scientists say the stress is caused by increased food and water scarcity, predators, illnesses, and parasites combined with raising infants.
Researchers studied 242 female baboons in Kenya for more than 20 years measuring stress hormones in their feces.
Females with higher levels of this group of hormones, called glucocorticoids, which generate the “fight or flight” response, tended to die younger.
Using a simulation of females that lived at opposite ends of the stress spectrum, the model showed an unstressed baboon would live five and a half years longer than a stressed one.
Dr. Fernando Campos, an assistant professor at the University of Texas San Antonio, said:
More than 14,000 fecal samples were used in the study, which was used for analysis as taking saliva or blood from monkeys is more likely to change their hormone levels.
Professor Susan Alberts, chair of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University, said:
The study was published in the journal Science Advances.