Link Between Loneliness and Genetics Found in New Study

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge have found a connection between a person’s predisposition to loneliness and their genetic composition.

The study, conducted with 487,647 participants of the U.K. Biobank who filled out questionnaires, attempted to gauge their perceived level of loneliness, how often they interacted with other people and how good those interactions were, The Telegraph reports.

The researchers referenced the questionnaires and the genetic makeups of the individuals who participated in the study and found that there are similarities among those people who thought of themselves as being lonely.

Researchers found that the individuals who identified as being lonely featured “different spellings” of their DNA at 15 genetic locations.

Those genetic regions are not just linked to loneliness, however.

The researchers also noted that the same genetic locations that are connected to loneliness are similarly linked to a part of the brain responsible for emotional self-control. The very same regions are also noticeable among individuals who are overweight.

From the findings obtained in the study, University of Cambridge senior scientist Dr. John Perry said that it’s now possible for them “to use genetics to identify a causal association between loneliness and obesity.”

Perry added, “We often think that loneliness is driven purely by our surrounding environment and life experiences, but this study demonstrates that genes can also play a role.”

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Source: Christian Post