Even after accounting for variables such as socioeconomic status, race, and age, the researchers found that having a high allostatic load significantly increased participants’ likelihood of dying from cancer. Specifically, they were 2.4 times more likely to die from cancer than those with low allostatic loads.

Beyond that, it also seems that allostatic load jumps as we age, with this team’s previous research showing that adults 40 and up had a 100% increased risk of high allostatic load compared to adults under 30. But in this research, when accounting for age, those with a high allostatic load still had a 28% increased risk of dying from cancer.

“That means that if you were to have two people of the same age, if one of those people had high allostatic load, they are 28% more likely to die from cancer,” study co-author Justin Xavier Moore Ph.D., MPH explained in a news release.

Other factors like race and socioeconomic status came into play in the findings as well, with Moore noting this is due to the systemic stress factors that disproportionately affect people of color and less wealthy populations.

“But even if you take race out,” he says, “the bottom line is that the environments in which we live, work and play, where you are rewarded for working more and sometimes seen as weak for taking time for yourself, is conducive to high stress which in turn may lead to cancer development and increased morbidity and mortality.”



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