If you’re a male investment banker recently relieved of your duties by your employer, get a new job fast – if you want to avoid sagging jowls and greying hair.
Being unemployed for more than two years can age men at a faster rate, according to new research from Imperial College London. It’s all down to the ‘telomeres’, you see:
“Researchers measured structures called telomeres, which lie at the ends of chromosomes and protect the genetic code from being degraded. Telomeres become shorter over a person's lifetime, and their length is considered a marker for biological ageing. Short telomeres are linked to higher risk of age-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.”
The study, funded by the Wellcome Trust, found that men who had been unemployed for more than two of the preceding three years were more than twice as likely to have short telomeres compared to men who were continuously employed.”
Case in point: Geraint ‘City Boy’ Anderson, who quit investment banking in 2008 as a fresh-faced youth and now, five years later, is sporting a relaxed physique and receding hairline. Anderson, who moved to Wales and started a family, isn’t actually unemployed, but is writing full-time. This, we can vouch for, is unlikely to keep you youthful.
Anderson when he left the City
However, remaining out of the job market – and aging at an accelerated rate – is perhaps a better alternative than remaining in the investment banking industry. As we pointed to previously, the long hours and stressful lifestyle in financial services has led to a disproportionate number of people from the industry developing heart disease at a young age and often tragically dying before the age of 40.
Moreover, as an oft-cited 2012 study by the University of Southern California found, the longer you stay in the industry, the more likely you are to develop a series of stress-related conditions like insomnia, allergies, substance addiction, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, thyroid conditions and arthritis. Oh, and erectile disfunction.