WEEKLY UPDATE: September 20, 2019
SUMMARY: Detection of 19 genetic variants associated with feelings of loneliness.
DESCRIPTION: Humans are social creatures and feelings of loneliness arise when we don’t feel as socially connected as we want. Chronic loneliness has been correlated with elevated risks of various mental and physical diseases, and even premature death. While loneliness can be a result of social and environmental circumstances, some genetic factors may lead to a predisposition to loneliness. This study examined more than half a million people of European descent, discovering 19 genetic variants that may be associated with an increased propensity of feeling lonely. These variants help explain ~20% of the heritability of loneliness. Further, this study revealed that chronic loneliness is associated with a range of disorders, including heart disease, depression, and obesity.
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ANALYZED VARIANTS: rs599550, rs13291079, rs4958586, rs12458015, rs773020, rs74338595, rs7626596, rs171697, rs11867618, rs7770860, rs348258, rs72627233, rs10456089, rs11068917, rs62347916, rs2732650, rs11039265, rs7209581, rs159960