Changes in kids’ genomes linked to chronic stress

By Ashley Yeager, 10:17 AM April 8, 2014

Growing up in poverty or an unstable home is associated with shortened protective caps on the ends of children’s chromosomes, researchers report April 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Shorter chromosome caps, called telomeres, have been linked to increased risk of death.

In a study of 40 nine-year-old boys, kids from underprivileged backgrounds had telomeres that were 19 percent shorter than those of boys from more privileged environments.

The finding supports other rec...

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