Emerging evidence suggests that caregiver stress, depression, and low social support are associated with telomere shortening (an indicator of cellular aging), especially among women caregivers. If psychosocial, cultural and religious factors were linked to slower telomere shortening in female caregivers, then novel preventive strategies to support and enhance psychosocial and religious resources could be developed to provide hope and relief, helping to maintain health and possibly extend longevity.
In light of these considerations, we are planning to conduct a survey of 100 female caregivers to determine relationships between psychosocial, religious, and behavioral factors, and telomere length.
Persons aged 40-75 who care for family members with any disabling condition are eligible. Participation involves completing a 30-min questionnaire and giving a blood sample. This involves a single assessment without follow-up, for which $100 will be offered.
For more information, contact Harold G. Koenig, M.D. at 919-681-6633.