Always catching colds? Blame it on your socioeconomic status

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Image: Josh McGinn/Flickr

Poverty, it turns out, is etched into our DNA.

That’s not a metaphorical statement. Growing up poor leaves a permanent mark on our permanent genetic code, according to new research.

Socioeconomic status during childhood correlates with shorter sections of DNA, known as telomeres, later in life, explains a study published in the November issue of the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

In the study, participants were asked to take a dose of a cold virus. Those who indicated a lower socioeconomic status as a child were more likely to be infected by the virus and show symptoms. “For each decrease of one year in parental home ownership, the participants’ odds of developing a cold increased by approximately 9 percent,” the study concluded.

Read the full, original story here: Poverty Is Stamped Into DNA in Childhood—And Stays There

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