Getting fired or laid off ages us even more than work does, no matter how much we may have grumbled about our jobs. Losing a job can make your RealAge (physiologic age) as much as five years older. Such loss is especially significant for men in the middle or late stages of their career; job layoffs and firings seem to have an especially pernicious aging effect on these men, moreso than on women. Most likely, this gender gap has to do with traditional social roles, in which men are taught to believe that their job is the most central part of their identities. Men who have lost their jobs, and even those who have retired of their own free will, are more than twice as likely to have a major aging event than men who remain continuously employed.
More Answers from Michael Roizen, MD