Loneliness in middle age and biomarkers of systemic inflammation: Findings from midlife in the United States
This study used data from the Midlife in the US (LIDUS) survey Biomarker Project, which collected data on psychological, social, and physiological measures from a sample of middle-age adults. Biomarkers were obtained from a fasting blood sample. Self-reported loneliness was categorized as feeling lonely or not feeling lonely. Hierarchical regressions examined the association between biomarkers of systemic inflammation (interleukin-6, fibrinogen, C-reactive protein) and feeling lonely, adjusted for covariates.
Twenty-nine percent of the sample reported feeling lonely most or some of the time. There was a positive significant relationship between loneliness and the three systemic inflammation biomarkers after controlling for covariates. The conclusion was that feeling lonely is associated with systemic inflammation in middle-aged community dwelling US adults.
Authors: Paula Nersesian, Hae-Ra Han, Gayane Yenokyan, Roger Blumenthal, Marie Nolan, Melissa Hladek, Sarah Szanton