Loneliness is Bad For Your Colds
A common cold could be worse when it comes in tandem with loneliness. This new discovery is the key finding in a study published by the American Psychological Association.
According to a study conducted by Angie LeRoy, the lead author of the research and a graduate student in psychology at Rice University, people who had weaker social networks were more likely to report more severe cold symptoms than cold sufferers who didn’t feel lonely.
Aside from that, feeling lonely had a greater effect on symptoms than actually being lonely.
The study was published in the APA journal Health Psychology.
Feeling Lonely Worsens Cold Symptoms
According to study author LeRoy, loneliness can be bad for the health.
LeRoy said, “Research has shown that loneliness puts people at risk for early death and other physical illnesses.”
However, LeRoy pointed out that nothing had been done to look at an acute but temporary illness that all are susceptible to – like the common cold.
That is why to probe on the effects of loneliness on colds, the study was launched. And the results are interesting.
Before unveiling the results, here is the background of the study.
The researchers studied 159 people who are all unmarried, ranging in age from 18 to 55. Nearly 60 percent were men. All were assessed for their psychological and physical health, given cold-inducing nasal drops and quarantined for five days in hotel rooms.
The participants, scored in advance on the Short Loneliness Scale and the Social Network Index, were monitored during and after the five-day stay.
The participants went though tests such as adjusting for gender and age, the season, depressive effect and social isolation. The researchers found that those who felt lonely were no more likely to get a cold than those who didn’t feel isolated.
But among those who actually came down with a cold (75 percent of the sample), people who were lonelier at baseline reported worse cold symptoms. In addition, the size of the participants’ social networks appeared to have no bearing on how sick they felt.