Loneliness A Factor in Death Risk
Heart-disease patients or people at risk of heart disease are likely to live shorter lives if they are lonely or live on their own, according to new research.
A study conducted by experts at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston followed 44,573 people who either had atherosclerosis or were at risk for the condition. After four years, the people who lived alone had a higher percentage of death, from a variety of causes, than those who lived with others: 14.1 percent and 11.1 percent, respectively.
As for those who died from cardiovascular problems, the rate was 8.6 percent for those who lived alone versus 6.8 percent for those who did not.
Within age groups, people 45 to 80 died at a higher rate than did those over 80, the researchers said.
In another study on the topic, researchers at the University of California San Francisco found that loneliness was related to functional decline as well as to an increased risk of death.
Researchers said the studies indicate that loneliness should be considered a factor in the treatment of heart disease, and that patients should be encouraged to increase contact with others, whether that be a family member or a support group.