Being Lonely can Affect Your Health

Researchers at Rice University have found lonely people are likely to feel “lousier” when fighting a cold than someone in a relationship. Same story if they have a lot of friends.

The co-author of the study, Angie Le Roy, says lonely patients experienced much more severe symptoms than those surrounded by friends, or who are in a relationship.

“They experienced much more severe symptoms, at least perceived symptoms, than those who were low in loneliness.”

There’s a link between the brain and perceptions of illness.

“We actually found that it was the perception of loneliness that was really important,” Le Roy says. “It wasn't just the number of people that they have relationships with.”

They found loneliness puts people at risk for premature mortality and all kinds of physical illnesses. The study focused on people with temporary illnesses -- like a cold.

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