Social isolation increases the risk of premature death by almost 50%

Researchers at the University of Essen, Germany, found that socially isolated people are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke and die prematurely, Medical Xpress reports. The scientists presented the results of their work at the online European Academy of Neurology Congress.

The study analyzed data on 4316 people, whose average age was 59 years. At the beginning of the study, none of the participants were diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases. The scientists interviewed people about their social contacts, namely, whether they were married or cohabiting with someone, how often they communicate with friends and relatives, whether they belong to any political, religious, professional or other organizations.

The observation of the participants lasted 13 years. During this time there were 339 heart attacks or strokes and 530 deaths due to various causes. Analysis of information showed that people who had low levels of social contacts and suffered from loneliness increased the risk of heart attacks or strokes by 44% and premature death by 47%.

Thus, scientists found another confirmation of how important social connections are for human health. This is a factor equal to the normal indicators of blood pressure, cholesterol, and body weight, the authors of the study note.

May 25, 2020, 11:04 a.m.

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