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 Cold/Flu  Holistic-online.com

Happy Marriage a Good Defense Against Flu

A team from the University of Birmingham, UK found that stressful life events had an effect on the immune response to the annual flu jab. This immune response is thought to be a good indication of the body's capacity to fight back against the virus itself.

Their research showed that happily married people are more likely to fight off flu effectively. On the other hand, those who are recently bereaved or divorced may find it hard to fight the virus.

The Birmingham team examined levels of antibodies in the blood. The body produces these antibodies to combat disease. An increase in antibody levels indicates that the body's immune system is better prepared to fight off infection.

The researchers studied more than 180 people aged over 65 from surgeries across Birmingham. Those who said they were happily married had much higher levels of antibodies in the blood than those who reported lower marital satisfaction. And those that had suffered a bereavement in the year prior to vaccination had a poorer response than those who had not suffered bereavement.

Dr John Moore-Gillon, president of the British Lung Foundation, said: "Many things can affect the immune system, and this research suggests that the state of someone's mind may be one of them.

"The research certainly shows that we need to try and understand more about how the mind and the body interact in both health and disease."

Source: BBC

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