Our perceptions of the neighborhoods where we live influences cellular aging within our bodies. Park and colleagues “examined whether neighborhood quality was associated with leukocyte telomere length, an indicator of cellular aging. . . . Neighborhood quality was assessed using modified measures of perceived neighborhood disorder [for example, vandalism], fear of crime, and noise. . . . . individual and community characteristics related to socioeconomic and demographic status, urbanization level, mental and physical health, and lifestyle [were eliminated as explanations for effects found using statistical tools]. . . . Compared to individuals who reported good neighborhood quality, the mean telomere length of those who reported moderate neighborhood quality was approximately 69 base pair shorter . . . and that of those who reported poor neighborhood quality were 174 base pair shorter. . . . For illustrative purposes, one could extrapolate these outcomes to 8.7 and 11.9 years in chronological age, respectively.” So, people who felt they lived in neighborhoods with high levels of vandalism, noise, etc., were about a decade older, biologically, than people who didn’t feel they lived in these sorts of environments who were born in the same year they were; their bodies were in much worse condition than would be expected in someone of their chronological age.
Mijung Park, Josine Verhoeven, Pim Cuijpers, Charles Reynolds, and Brenda Penninx. “Where You Live May Make You Old: The Association Between Perceived Poor Neighborhood Quality and Leukicyte Telomore Length.” PloS ONE, http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0128460