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Facebook, MySpace could increase risk of cancer

world Updated: Feb 20, 2009 06:23 IST
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Are you a frequent visitor to social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace? Then there is some bad news for you.

The habit can increase the risk of health problems as serious as cancer.

A report in a science journal has claimed that logging on these sites frequently could increase the risk of cancer and other major illness such as strokes, heart disease and dementia.

“Emailing people rather than meeting up with them may have wide-ranging biological effects,” said psychologist Aric Sigman in his report published in Biologist, the journal of the Institute of Biology.

“Increased isolation could alter the way genes work and upset immune responses, hormone levels and the function of arteries. It could also impair mental performance, which could increase the risk of problems as serious as cancer, strokes, heart disease and dementia,” the doctor was quoted as saying in his report by Daily Mail.

Even though these sites are designed to bring people together, Sigman said they are making people more isolated. Research suggested that the number of hours people spent speaking to others face-to-face had fallen dramatically since 1987 as the use of electronic media increased.