Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Live alone or live longer?

The loneliness

Weakens the body's defenses Loneliness is not only an unpleasant situation from a psychological point of view, but also can damage the immune system, weakening the body's defenses of the solitary man and making him more susceptible to disease, according to a new U.S. scientific research. The researchers, led by Lisa Giaremka the Institute for Behavioral Medicine at the Medical School of the University of Ohio, who made the announcement at the annual meeting of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology, U.S., found that lonely people experience more frequent recurrences of various viruses dormant in their body than is respectively the social people.

 It is also more likely to develop chronic inflammation in their bodies due to the response to the chronic stress of loneliness, making them more vulnerable to cardiac and other diseases. According to the researchers, social isolation and feelings of loneliness increase the risk for a man to have poor health and suffering from one or more chronic diseases, says a report in the Athenian-Macedonian News Agency. The researchers studied the case 200 women with a mean age of 51 years who had survived breast cancer and 134 overweight middle-aged adults without major health problems.

The American scientists analyzed blood samples to detect antibodies against the virus of herpes, which can remain without onset of symptoms in the body "dormant" for a long time and be activated at times. The researchers correlated the degree of loneliness and lack of social contact with the antibody level in the body, ie those proteins that help the immune system to cope with the pathogen. It was found that the more he felt it was only one, so it was more antibodies against herpes virus in the body, which meant that the virus was most active. Meanwhile, scientists measured also in blood samples, the level of certain proteins (cytokines) that indicate the degree of inflammation in a body. It was found that the more lonely you are, the higher the levels of particular cytokine interelefkinis-6 (IL-6).

Chronic inflammation associated with the said protein has been associated in previous studies with various diseases such as coronary heart disease, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer's etc. Scientists have long been aware that chronic stress enhances internal inflammation. New research shows that loneliness may act similarly, since she is a source of chronic stress, such Giaremka Lisa said, adding that lonely people tend to over-react to negative events in their lives, so that their daily be more prone to anxiety.

The consequence is to disrupt the smooth functioning of their immune system. For example, the frequent recurrence of latent herpes virus in a man indicates that his organization is experiencing chronic stress and loneliness is one factor that exacerbates stress, thus making more frequent and painful periodic manifestation of herpes