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Sunday, 17 March 2013 10:08

Stress makes you susceptible to illness

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Ruminating on negative events can damage your health by increasing inflammation in the body, the researchers claim

stressDwelling on stressful events can weaken the immune system and make people more susceptible to illness, study finds, reports telegraph Uk

Thinking about negative events can have a detrimental effect on your health as it increases levels of inflammation in the body, researchers found in a study of 34 health young women.

This inflammation, associated with the body’s response to trauma and infection, has been linked with a number of disorders and conditions.

During the study each woman was asked to give a speech about her candidacy for a job to two interviewers in white laboratory coats, who listened with "stone-faced" expressions.

Half of the group were then asked to contemplate their performance in the public speaking task, while the other half were asked to think about neutral images and activities, such as sailing ships or shopping for groceries.

The scientists then took blood samples. They found that when participants were asked to ruminate on the incident their levels of C-reactive protein, which is a marker of tissue inflammation, rose.

C-reactive protein is primarily produced by the liver as part of the immune system's initial inflammatory response. It rises in response to traumas, injuries or infections in the body.

It is widely used as a clinical marker to determine if a patient has an infection, but also if he or she may be at risk for disease later in life.

Dr Peggy Zoccola, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor at the Ohio University in the United States, said: "More and more, chronic inflammation is being associated with various disorders and conditions.

"The immune system plays an important role in various cardiovascular disorders such as heart disease, as well as cancer, dementia and autoimmune diseases."

The study is the first to directly measure this effect in the body.

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Read 3669 times Last modified on Sunday, 17 March 2013 10:16

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