Being working class or marrying into the working classes could dramatically reduce an individual’s lifespan, new research has claimed. A study of hundreds of female twins found those deemed working class – employed in a manual, unskilled job – can expect to age significantly faster than their middle-class peers. It could reduce life expectancy by seven years. And moving into the working class through marriage could have an even bigger impact, adding nine years to a woman’s biological age. The association between the rate at which people age and the social class they belong to cannot adequately be explained by low income, poor education or risk factors known to afflict lower socioeconomic groups most, such as smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and bad diet. However, stress may be the key, the researchers believe. People from lower social backgrounds are more likely to feel insecure, it is claimed. The stress this causes is thought to inflict cellular damage that accelerates ageing. The findings, soon to appear in the journal Aging Cell, are the latest to emerge from the twin research unit at London’s St Thomas’s Hospital. Working with colleagues in the US, the researchers, led by […]

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