A new study from Rice University demonstrates that people who feel lonely are likely to experience more severe symptoms from the common cold.
For the study, the researchers assessed the psychological and physical health of 159 people aged from 18 to 55, who were given cold-inducing nasal drops and quarantined for 5 days in hotel rooms. After adjusting demographics like gender, age, the reason, depressive affect and social isolation, the scientists concluded that those who felt lonely were more no more likely to get a cold than those who weren’t, but people who felt lonely reported a greater severity of symptoms than their counterparts.
Psychologist Chris Fagundes of Rice University, one of the lead researchers, says: “Doctors should take psychological factors into account at intake on a regular basis. It would definitely help them understand the phenomenon when the person comes in sick.”