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Loneliness Is Dangerous

Loneliness Is Dangerous

COLUMBUS, Ohio (UPI) — Loneliness boosts inflammation, which is linked to coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease, U.S. researchers suggest.

Lead author Lisa Jaremka, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State University, and colleagues found people who were more lonely showed signs of elevated latent herpes virus reactivation and produced more inflammation-related proteins in response to acute stress than people who felt more socially connected.

Reactivation of a latent herpes virus is known to be associated with stress, suggesting loneliness functions as a chronic stressor that triggers a poorly controlled immune response.

“It is clear from previous research that poor-quality relationships are linked to a number of health problems, including premature mortality and all sorts of other very serious health conditions. And people who are lonely clearly feel like they are in poor-quality relationships,” Jaremka said in a statement.

“One reason this type of research is important is to understand how loneliness and relationships broadly affect health. The more we understand about the process, the more potential there is to counter those negative effects — to perhaps intervene,” Jaremka said.

The findings, presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual meeting in New Orleans, were based on a series of studies conducted with two populations: a healthy group of overweight middle-aged adults and a group of breast cancer survivors.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

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  • Ranchman

    Next, doctors will be asking if you’re lonely. Answer yes and lose your Second Amendment rights. This whole mental health debate has opened the door to all kinds of abuse by the government…as usual.

    • KG

      There is a big difference between “loneliness” and “aloneness.” I think some people cannot cohabitate with anyone. Many homeless people have this problem. I got divorced in 2005 and have lived alone since then. And I have had the time of my life!!

  • ibcamn

    Human beings,in the nutshell,are sociable animals,and need other human interaction or they become distant and with someone and living alone are two diffirent things,one is you choose and one is an outcast!some people choose to live alone and have many friends(as me)but some just become distant and then can no longer function with other people!as for me,someday maybe if the right woman enter my life again i would,no problem!


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