Researchers and public health officials have known that the basis for adult health lies largely in childhood. The environment in which one is raised affects how healthy that person will be as they age. New research suggests that children who are repeatedly exposed to violence appear to be aging at a faster rate.
Researchers at Duke University and King’s College London report that the DNA of 10-year-olds who have experienced violence show signs of the wear and tear associated with aging.
Scientists determined the children’s DNA had shorter age-marker sequences called telomeres. Telomeres are special sequences of DNA found at the ends of chromosomes. Like the plastic tips of shoelaces, telomeres keep strands of DNA from unraveling.