Studies Suggest That Lonely People Are More Prone to Getting Sick [VIDEO]
A recent study suggests that lonely people have more severe cold symptoms compared to their peers who are happy. In 2015, a study also explained the correlation with mental health status and the way it affects the person's overall health.
People who have lower immune system would often get sick. Researchers pointed out that mental health can strongly impact a person's physical health and overall wellness. They then came into conclusion that lonely people are more prone to getting sick, according to the NPR.
Cold and flu symptoms may be minor cases, but it was explained that there are some who were diagnosed with serious health conditions due to loneliness. There are patients who suffer from heart diseases and early death due to their emotional state.
"There's been much less research on whether loneliness is correlated with common, acute, short-term illnesses like colds, Angie LeRoy, an author of the study and a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at the University of Houston, explained during an interview with the NPR.
LeRoy and her team conducted a paid experiment where they gathered subjects ages 18 to 55. The subjects were asked to go through psychological tests and were exposed to common cold viruses via nose drops. They were then quarantined for a total of five days as explained in the study that was published in the journal Health Psychology.
A total of 159 participants took part of the study where they were scored based on their levels of loneliness. The researchers came to a conclusion that the participants who were the most lonely are more likely to fall ill and caught a cold by 39 percent compared to their peers that were happy.
"Even something as simple as the common cold can be affected by how you're feeling beforehand," LeRoy added. "The reason isn't clear, but other research on loneliness has suggested multiple mechanisms, including effects on the immune system and behavioral factors."
The results are still uncertain; thus LeRoy and her team still need to dig deeper and come up with a concrete reason for the cause of the correlation. The team urged health care professionals to gauge not only the physical but the patient's mental health as well.