Negative Social Interactions, Inflammation, and Racial Differences in Older Adults
Authors: Maryam Adel (neuroscience), Dr. Yanping Jiang
Faculty mentor: Samuele Zilioli
Social relationships have been recognized as a potent factor influencing individuals' health. Studies have shown that negative social interactions (NSI) contribute to poor physical health outcomes, including increased levels of inflammatory biomarkers, such as C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP is an acute-phase protein released by the liver and is associated with elevated cardiovascular disease risk. We investigated the concurrent and longitudinal effects of NSI on CRP levels and explored racial differences in these effects using data collected between 2006 and 2016 from 7,672 older adults in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), an ongoing longitudinal study focused on the health of older adults living in the United States. Latent growth curve modeling revealed that NSI was concurrently associated with CRP but did not predict the long-term changes in CPR over time, and such associations did not differ by race. These results add to the existing literature on the relationship between social relationships and health outcomes. Future studies should investigate other aspects of physical and psychological health in association with social relationships.
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Maryam Adel: Negative Social Interactions, Inflammation, and Racial Differences in Older Adults