Exposure to Violence Reduces DNA Protections


New Orleans researchers found that exposure to violence and severe emotional disruption in families “significantly” shortened the length of telomeres in children. Telomeres are protective mechanisms for chromosomes in DNA that are also important with respect to aging and cancer. The study in Pediatrics examined children aged 5 to 15, and compared the length of their telomeres relative to caregiver reports about children’s exposures to serious problems at home. “Witnessing family violence exerted a particularly potent impact,” noted the researchers, and concluded that “the family ecology may be an important target for interventions to reduce the biological impact of adversity in the lives of children.”

The Association of Telomere Length With Family Violence and Disruption (Drury, Stacy et al. Pediatrics. June 2014. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-3415.)


  1. This also provides evidence that never ending wars, violent video games and movies may not be the appropriate societal “corporate” strategy for a healthy population, in general. Perhaps those financing and profiting from all the wars and violent propaganda do not actually have the best interests of the public at heart? (sarcasm)

    Report comment

  2. And is this the 1st time the shortened length of telomeres has been documented?

    If so, is anyone interested in a small wager that subsequent telomere measurers will have difficulty in replicating this study’s findings?

    And Who got the bill for this shortened Telomere investigation?

    Report comment

  3. Hey Someone Else, I love action-suspense-thrillers. Don’t say those things about my stuff.

    The greater problem is surely the unreal level to which typical portray our society as good and just, if you look in the right places, etc., etc. As though solid critiques both happen and take effect, becoming generally understood. Such a thing has never in my years occurred.

    Report comment

    • No offense intended, travailler-vous, I’m really more against the never ending real life wars. I enjoy action suspense thrillers, too, truth be told.

      As to the typical movies portraying our society as good and just, I’ve personally seen and known a lot of good and just people in my life. Actually, the only people I’ve ever met in my entire life who were truly hypocritically and unrepentantly evil are the doctors and religious folks whose goal it was to cover up the sexual abuse of my child and easily recognized medical errors, due to their greed. Sorry you haven’t experienced more good. Hope you do in the future.

      Report comment

  4. It may explain some of the shorter life span in people living in poverty…or maybe not. It’s interesting finding but I hope people won’t use such findings to draw far-fetched conclusions.

    Report comment