- People who spend time with partners have lower levels of C-reactive protein
- Simply being in same room as a loved one whether awake or sleeping counted
Sometimes you might feel like you want to get as far away from them as possible.
But just being in the presence of your romantic partner – even if you’ve just had a nasty argument – may offer powerful health benefits, a study suggests.
Researchers have found that people who spend more time with their significant other have lower levels of C-reactive protein – a sign of inflammation – the following day.
A team from the University of North Carolina recruited 100 adults in romantic relationships for their study.
These participants visited a lab three times over the course of a month, where they provided blood samples.
At each visit, they also completed surveys that included a question regarding the amount of time they had spent in the physical presence of their partner in the past 24 hours.
Just being in the presence of your romantic partner – even if you’ve just had a nasty argument – may offer powerful health benefits, a study suggest (stock image)
Simply being in the same room as their loved one – whether awake or sleeping – counted.
Analysis revealed that participants who reported spending more time in the presence of their partner over the last 24 hours had lower C-reactive protein (CRP) levels.
This protein, made by the liver, increases when there is inflammation in the body. High CRP levels could indicate a serious health condition that the body is trying to fight.
Elevated CRP over a long period of time has previously been linked to health issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer.
The link between time spent with a partner and lower CRP levels remained strong even when the researchers accounted for the quality of the relationship, feelings of hostility towards a partner and feelings of loneliness.
Analysis revealed that participants who reported spending more time in the presence of their partner over the last 24 hours had lower C-reactive protein (CRP) levels (stock image)
This, they said, suggests that simply being physically near a romantic partner can have benefits, regardless of how the relationship is going.
The study, published in the journal Brain, Behaviour and Immunity, reads: ‘People with whom we are in close social relationships, such as a quality romantic partner, are who we want to laugh with, who we want to hug, or who we choose to sit in silence and stillness next to at the end of the day.
‘We sampled CRP on three different days across time, and found evidence suggesting merely being together with a romantic partner was beneficial in the form of lower CRP.
‘By identifying this proximal biological pathway through which being with our closest others may facilitate better health outcomes, these findings reveal yet uncharted avenues for addressing the mechanisms through which close relationships affect long-term health.’