Comment | Published:

Telomeres and adversity

Too toxic to ignore

Nature volume 490, pages 169171 (11 October 2012) | Download Citation

A stark warning about the societal costs of stress comes from links between shortened telomeres, chronic stress and disease, say Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Elissa S. Epel.

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Author information


  1. Elizabeth H. Blackburn is the 2009 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine and professor of biology and physiology in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

    • Elizabeth H. Blackburn
  2. Elissa S. Epel is associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143, USA, and is part of several National Institute on Aging initiatives on stress research.

    • Elissa S. Epel


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Competing interests

E.H.B. and E.S.E. are co-founders of Telome Health, a telomere measurement company.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Elizabeth H. Blackburn.

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