Does the stress of renting really make you feel older?
Well, according to a new study by Australian researchers that looked at the stress of renting in British adults, people who rent their home as opposed to owning outright age faster than those experiencing unemployment or who’ve previously smoked.
The study found that renting stress, which includes issues like financial strain, exposure to rental property hazards, the inconvenience of moving, and the social stigma of renting, accelerates biological aging twice as much as unemployment and 1.5 times more than smoking.
This stress has tangible and important effects on health.
The study highlighted that the quicker aging caused by renting, which can lead to a higher chance of chronic illnesses and death, may not be permanent.
Researchers suggest that changes in housing policies can enhance health and undo the damage.
Previous studies have shown that the physical aspects of housing, such as too many people living in a place or not enough heating, have a clear effect on health.
However, this new study in The British Medical Journal's Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health reveals that less tangible factors like affordability and security also play a significant role in impacting health.
It is also worth noting that the researchers relied on data from the U.K. Household Longitudinal Study as well as blood samples from nearly 1,500 participants to gather information on aging biomarkers, and also factored in data on sex, nationality, education level, wealth, diet, stress levels, body mass index and smoking.
Finally, the study suggested more favourable policies toward renters—like ending “no-fault” evictions, limiting rent increases and improving housing conditions—could slow the biological aging brought on by renting.
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