A university study indicates that people who are lonely have an increased chance of dying at an earlier age, according to the Mirror.

Scientists at the University of Chicago have studied the affects loneliness can have on an individual and have found that people experience a dip in their immune system when they are lonely, putting them at a disadvantage health-wise and exposing them to the increased possibility of getting sick.

The research study, published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), showed that those who experience chronic loneliness were 14 percent more likely to die earlier, specifically due to a lower count of white blood cells.

"It is a monotonic function - the lonelier one is and the longer one is lonely, the greater the negative effects," said psychologist John Cacioppo. "The prevalence of loneliness is also on the rise."

Cacioppo gave a Ted Talk on loneliness and presented findings that that pointed to increased numbers of individuals isolating themselves.

"In 1940, the number of one person households across the nation amounted to less than 15 percent, by 1970 the proportion had begun to approach 20 percent, and by 2000, more than a quarter of households in most states were solitary," according to the Medical Daily's brief summation.