A fascinating new study suggests that loneliness may be correlated to changes in our genes.
A variety of theories explaining the correlation between social isolation and health risks have been put forward. One suggests that the social isolation leads to lack of medical care and support. Not having the feeling of a person caring for you has the danger of health problems such as depression, which has certainly been linked to this lack of self care.
But a new study indicates that people may become socially isolated and the genetic trait that might have led to depression may also affect the body defences to disease. People’s perception seems to play a large role and someone who perceives themselves as alone may feel the worst about it. Changing a person’s perception of their isolation in society might change their susceptibility to disease.
This study shows that those who perceive themselves to be chronically isolated appear to have a gene expression “fingerprint” and part of this gene expression fingerprint is involved in inflammatory pathways
This study concludes, as social creatures, humans may well gain health benefits from the integrated society we live in. That is why if separation from a significant other happens it’s important to think about the social change occurring, and if necessary, reach out for help before possible health issues emerge.