Widespread Loneliness is Killing People and we need to Think on it

Social isolation, loneliness could be a greater threat to public health than obesity.


Loneliness and social detachment are turning into a more noteworthy general well-being issue. A survey estimated that more people in the US are living alone. According to psychologists, the spread of loneliness is increasing our risk of premature death.

There is strong confirmation that social disconnection and dejection altogether increases hazard for untimely mortality. It also increases the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators.

Psychologist Julianne Holt-Lunstad from Brigham Young University said, “Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human needs crucial to both well-being and survival.”

Lunstad presented outcome on the two large meta-analyses on the connection between loneliness and premature mortality. She studied data over the past several decades.

During the 1st meta-analyses, she gone through 148 studies with a total of 308,849 participants. By analyzing participant’s social relationships, health status, and pre-existing conditions, scientists were able to differentiate socially isolated people and those with stronger relationships.

Participants with 50% social relationships were found as more likely to survive longer than those who were isolated.

During the next meta-analyses, she was gone through 70 studies. During the study, scientists found the evidence on how loneliness and social isolation increases death factor.

After crunching the data, scientists found that all these factors corresponded to an increased likelihood of mortality of about 26-32 percent. It also detected the risk of mental health problems and cardiovascular disease amongst others.

Lunstad noted, “Affluent nations have the highest rates of individuals living alone since census data collection began and also likely have the highest rates in human history, with those rates projected to increase.”

In the US, more than a quarter of the population is now living alone. A similar trend is also found in other countries like India and UK. Even many nations suggest that they are facing a ‘loneliness epidemic’.

“We need to take collective action in tackling loneliness as a public health threat, from emphasizing social skills training for kids at school to adding social connectedness as an item on your doctor’s health check-up list.”


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