A great many studies have shown associations in both humans and non-human primates between social environment and biological markers of health.

What is more, the team found that as rank shifted among seven of the females, the data corresponding to gene activity was again enough to guess an individual’s new rank with an accuracy of 85%.

”The current results support the idea that changes in gene regulation help to explain links between the social environment and physiology, potentially supplying an important piece to the puzzle of how social effects ’get under the skin’,” the team wrote.

Though the findings might seem to suggest that low social rank, or a decrease in social rank, can lead to reduced immune health, the team said it was ”encouraging” that the effects can be counteracted by a change in the social environment.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17663133