This is a gentle reminder that being single will kill you

People who are lonely tend to feel worse mentally and physically, and when they are not well, they usually suffer worse symptoms than those who are not lonely, a new study has revealed.

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Researchers in the US examined 218 studies into the health effects of loneliness and social isolation.

They found that social isolation raised a person’s risk of death by half compared to obesity, which raised the risk of death by only 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.

“Extreme examples show infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die, and indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment.

“Yet an increasing portion of the US population now experiences isolation regularly.”

People who are lonely tend to feel worse mentally and physically, and when they are not well, they usually suffer worse symptoms than those who are not lonely.

“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,” Holt-Lunstad said.

“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 advised persons to pay adequate attention to research and resources to tackle loneliness such as social skills for children in schools.

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