Major tragic news events may affect our telomere length, according to a finding that was inadvertently discovered while studying whether air pollution had an effect on telomeres.
“The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks coincided with a decline in heart health among Utahans, according to a study by the Intermountain Heart Institute.
Researchers analyzed blood samples from Utah patients and found that telomeres, DNA segments affected by stress, had shortened in the months following the attacks in 2001.
The correlation was discovered accidentally. Scientists were examining whether air pollution had an effect on telomeres when they analyzed a set of samples that spanned September 2001.
‘We noticed the telomere length dropped off rapidly in the month or two months following the terrorist attack,’ said John Carlquist, director of the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute Genetics Lab.” – Salt Lake Tribune