The impact of stress on older adults

(ABC NEWS) — Driving that long commute. A deadline in the office. Caring for a spouse with a long-term illness.

We are all familiar with stress in its many guises. And most of us know by now that it can have a detrimental effect on our health.

Now, new research out of a New York City study of aging suggesting that stress might even be linked to impaired memory.

Researchers looked at more than 500 healthy people with normal memories, all at least 70 years old. Surveying them on how much stress they felt daily, whether their lives felt overloaded, uncontrollable or unpredictable.

Those who reported the highest levels of stress initially had more than double the rate of memory problems three years later.

The reasons for the connection? Not entirely clear. More research is needed to figure out the link.

But it’s another reminder that the stress you carry may be more harmful than you think. Another reason to take a deep breath. Get some exercise and remind ourselves to relax every now and then.

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