Primary Outcome Measures:
The primary aim of this study is to evaluate the relationship between overall levels of stress and telomere length. It is hypothesized that the high stress group (based on the Perceived Stress Scale)compared to low stress group will have shorter telomere length. A secondary aim is to evaluate whether different types of stress have differing degrees of association with telomere length. An exploratory aim is to assess for gender differences in the association between stress and telomere length. The investigators are collecting a number of other measures, including demographics, work sector, perceived social support, and medical history, in order to adjust for potential confounders in the analysis.
This study is an extension of earlier work Dr. Rasgon has done with Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn at UCSF on the relationship between telomere length and mood outcomes. The investigators hope this study will add to the growing body of literature on stress and genetic markers of longevity, specifically how stress level and type is associated with telomere length. The increased understanding gained through this study may provide leads for predicting age-related diseases and early mortality in adults, thus benefiting others in the future.