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Loneliness is deadly for elderly

Loneliness is deadly for elderly
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For older adults, perceived social isolation is a major health risk that can increase the chances of premature death by 14 per cent.

New York: For older adults, perceived social isolation is a major health risk that can increase the chances of premature death by 14 per cent.

The researchers found that loneliness leads to fight-or-flight stress signalling, which can ultimately affect the production of white blood cells.

Essentially, lonely people had a less effective immune response and more inflammation than non-lonely people, researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of California-Los Angeles found.

The team examined gene expression in leukocytes, cells of the immune system that are involved in protecting the body against bacteria and viruses.

As expected, the leukocytes of lonely humans and macaques showed an increased expression of genes involved in inflammation and a decreased expression of genes involved in antiviral responses.

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