Cost of Loneliness is Death: Study
A recent study published in journal the Archives of Internal Medicine, reflect on the grim impact of living alone. Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco have found that loneliness increased the risk of death by almost 10 per cent in adults aged 60 years and above. The authors believe their study could have important public health implications.
According to sources, the researchers led by Dr. Carla Perissinotto believes "Loneliness is a common source of suffering in older persons. We demonstrated that it's also a risk factor for poor health outcomes including death and multiple measures of functional decline."
Like Us on Facebook
The team examined the relationship between loneliness and risk of functional decline and death in older individuals in a study of 1,604 participants in the Health and Retirement Study. The participants with an average age of 71 years were asked if they felt left out or isolated. It was noticed that 43.2 percent reported feeling lonely. Of those seniors, 23 percent died over the six-year study, compared to 14 percent of the participants who weren't lonely - a 45 percent increase.
"Loneliness is a common source of suffering in older persons. We demonstrated that it is also a risk factor for poor health outcomes including death and multiple measures of functional decline," the authors comment.
According to sources "Loneliness is a negative feeling that would be worth addressing even if the condition had no health implications. Nevertheless, with regard to health implications, scientists examining social support should build on studies such as those published in this issue and be challenged to investigate mechanisms as well as practical interventions that can be used to address the social factors that undermine health," the authors conclude.
Dr. Carla Perissinotto says "People my age need to appreciate who they are," she said. "Everyone has some skill and if they want to expand their horizons, they need to figure out what they can use to pull themselves back into the stream of life."