One study found that children who go through at least six adverse childhood experiences could see their life expectancy reduced by more than twenty years. Physiological stress leads to hypertension, which results in higher rates of infant and maternal mortality, among other conditions. Research has even found that certain levels of stress shorten our telomeres, which are structures that hold our chromosomes together. As we age, our telomeres naturally get shorter until cells start dying, which leads to disease. A study at the University of Michigan measured the telomere length in hundreds of women and found that black women were biologically more than seven years older than white women their age.
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