Avoidance of chronic stress (as opposed to acute stress) is associated with a slower loss of telomeres in most but not all studies,   and with decreased cortisol levels. A chronically high cortisol level compromises the immune system, causes cardiac damage/ arterosclerosis and is associated with facial ageing, and the latter in turn is a marker for increased morbidity and mortality.   Stress can be countered by social connection, spirituality, and (for men more clearly than for women) married life, all of which are associated with longevity.   
A third serious setback was Egypt. The collapse of Hosni Mubarak’s regime in 2011, amid giant protests, raised hopes that democracy would spread in the Middle East. But the euphoria soon turned to despair. Egypt’s ensuing elections were won not by liberal activists (who were hopelessly divided into a myriad of Pythonesque parties) but by Muhammad Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. Mr Morsi treated democracy as a winner-takes-all system, packing the state with Brothers, granting himself almost unlimited powers and creating an upper house with a permanent Islamic majority. In July 2013 the army stepped in, arresting Egypt’s first democratically elected president, imprisoning leading members of the Brotherhood and killing hundreds of demonstrators. Along with war in Syria and anarchy in Libya, this has dashed the hope that the Arab spring would lead to a flowering of democracy across the Middle East.