Stress, Aging, andWound Healing



Stress appears to promote senescence of immune cells in a manner comparable to chronological aging. This chapter will expand on this by reviewing the human literature on stress and wound healing, and by highlighting the phenomenological and mechanistic similarities of this literature with the findings from aging research. The balance of evidence indicates that it is not aging per se, but aging in the presence of other risk factors that creates a wound healing disparity between younger and older adults. In this context, stress and depression appear to be significant risk factors for impaired healing in aging adults and, by affecting shared biological pathways, may synergistically interact with other prevalent risk factors, such as co-morbidities (e.g., diabetes), pain, malnutrition, physical inactivity, and poor self-care to impair wound healing.


Depression Pain Health behavior Inflammation Scarring Menopause HPA axis Sympathetic nervous system Cortisol Norepinephrine. 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration, Department of Periodontics, Department of Women, Child and Family Health ScienceCollege of Dentistry, University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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