Loneliness eats into your DNA | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Loneliness eats into your DNA

delhi Updated: Sep 16, 2007 03:50 IST

Are you single and lonely? Just find a pal to share your feelings, otherwise you might get sick and die young.

Scientists in the US have uncovered a genetic reason why lonely souls are likely to die young solitude affects their immunity systems.

Researchers from the University of Chicago used a “gene chip” to look at DNA samples of isolated people and found that those who described themselves as chronically lonely had weaker immune systems.

The findings of the study have been published in the Genome Biology Journal, which suggest that lonely people can have unhealthy levels of chronic inflammation associated with heart and artery diseases, arthritis and Alzheimer’s.

According to lead author Steve Cole, a molecular biologist, “This study shows that the biological impact of social isolation reaches down into some of our most basic internal processes the activity of our genes.”

Cole and his team took blood samples and studied the gene activity of the immune system cells the white blood cells that protect from viruses and bacteria of 14 volunteers before coming to the conclusion.