New Study Reveals Deadly Risk of Loneliness
Adding to the increasing mountain of evidence which shows that remaining socially connected and
interacting with others is key to maintaining your health as you get older, researchers in California
have recently revealed the results of a study which showed that seniors who feel lonely are at a
significantly higher risk of dying than those who do not.
Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, revealed the results of their study earlier this
month. They followed more than 1,600 seniors from 2002 to 2008. During that time, the study
participants, who were all at least 60 years old at the time the study began, answered health questions
every two years. The questions focused on how the elderly person felt about his or her social
relationships, whether they felt lonely or isolated, as well as including questions about their general
The researchers found that those seniors who said they felt lonely were 45 percent more likely to die
during the study term than those who felt satisfied or happy with their social interactions.
Additionally, the people who felt lonely were almost 60 percent more likely to suffer some kind of
physical decline during the course of the study, such as a decreased ability to eat, clothe themselves,
or maintain adequate hygiene.
This study provides more evidence to the growing mountain of data showing how loneliness can affect
people, especially seniors. Previous research has shown that elderly people who are chronically lonely
have a significantly higher risk of developing heart disease and hypertension. It is such a significant risk
that researchers have identified loneliness as a health factor on par with smoking and obesity.
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