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19 Aug 2017

Being Single Will Kill You Faster Than Obesity - New Study Reveals

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A new study has revealed that being single and lonely can kill you
faster than the much dreaded obesity.


Loneliness is deadlier than
obesity and should be
considered a public health
risk, experts have warned. Those with bad social
connections have a 50 percent increased risk of early death, compared
to those with good social connections, a review of
studies on loneliness suggests.


Researchers in the US looked
at 218 studies into the health
effects of loneliness and
social isolation. They discovered that social
isolation raised a person's risk of death by half, compared to
obesity, which raised the risk
of death by just 30 percent.


Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, lead author and professor of
psychology at Brigham Young
University, said: "Being
connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need,
crucial to both well-being and survival. "Yet an increasing portion of
the US population now
experiences isolation
regularly." Feeling lonely is thought to make people feel worse
mentally and physically — and those who are lonely tend to suffer
worse symptoms when
they are unwell than those who aren't.


A recent survey by Granset,
the over-50s social
networking site, found that
almost three-quarters of older people in the UK are lonely and most
have never spoken to someone about how they feel. It also discovered
that about
70 percent said their close
friends and family would be
surprised if they said they
were lonely. Recent Office of National Statistic statistics show
Britain is the loneliest country in Europe. And, according to the
Campaign to End Loneliness,
the UK's loneliness epidemic
costs business $26m per year
for the costs associated with
health outcomes and sick days. Holt-Lunstad added:

"There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness
significantly increase risk for premature mortality, and the magnitude
of the risk exceeds that of many leading health
indicators. "With an increasing aging population, the effect on public
health is only anticipated to increase.

"Indeed, many nations around the world now suggest we are
facing a 'loneliness epidemic.'
The challenge we face now is
what can be done about it." She suggested greater priority be placed
on research and resources to tackle loneliness
such as social skills for
children in schools. Previous research has
suggested that solitary adults
reported much more severe
symptoms when they were
unwell. A study by Rice University in
Texas found that, while they
were no more likely to catch a cold, lonely adults felt far
worse when they did. Experts said GPs should factor
in a patient's social
circumstances when treating
them.
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