12 Stories

Study: Loneliness, Social Isolation Are Bad for Our Hearts

They may dramatically increase risk of heart attacks and strokes

(Newser) - Sgt. Pepper better have good insurance because—if its name is accurate—his Lonely Hearts Club Band has a dramatically increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. According to a study published Monday in Heart, people who feel lonely or are socially isolated have a 29% increase in risk of... More »

Health Risks Predicted in 'Loneliness Epidemic'

BYU researchers say isolation affects mortality as much as obesity

(Newser) - Being a loner can ruin your health as much as obesity, say researchers. The new study out of Brigham Young University warns that loneliness and social isolation can affect longevity as severely as more common health risks, reports the Salt Lake Tribune . The effect is more pronounced among young people,... More »

9% of Us Lack Close Friends

UK study's results about right for the US, too: expert

(Newser) - Having no close buddies might sound lonely, but it's not so rare—at least not according to a British study that finds that almost one in 10 people lack close friends. In other words, about 4.7 million Britons don't have BFFs, the Guardian notes; that's a... More »

Hey, Pope Francis: Kids Aren't a Retirement Plan

Adults who have kids can still be plenty lonely, writes Keli Goff

(Newser) - Pope Francis recently exhorted his followers to have kids , saying that to do otherwise would lead to "old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness." Well Keli Goff at the Daily Beast has some news for the pontiff: "Children are not a surefire way to inoculate... More »

Lonely? You May Not Live as Long

Those who live alone also at risk of early death: studies

(Newser) - Loneliness and living alone may actually affect your longevity, according to two new studies in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The first found that participants ages 45 and up who had or were at risk of developing heart disease were more likely to die from heart complications if they lived... More »

No, Facebook Isn't Creating a Nation of Lonely Souls

Slate essayist disagrees with cover story in 'Atlantic'

(Newser) - The Atlantic's cover story is a much-discussed piece by novelist Stephen Marche, who concludes that Americans in the age of Facebook "have never been more detached from one another, or lonelier." It's strong stuff, but it's just the latest entry in a long list of... More »

As Americans Get More Self-Centered, So Do Lyrics

Study finds increasingly narcissistic words in top 10 hits

(Newser) - Today’s hit songs aren’t about “us”—they’re just about “me,” a study finds. Researchers examined Billboard’s top 10 songs in the US each year from 1980 to 2007, and found that “popular music lyrics now include more words related to a... More »

Young Are Much Lonelier Than the Old

Study: 'epidemic of loneliness' among 18-34

(Newser) - Loneliness plagues the young more than the old, a new study suggests. In a survey of 2,256 Brits, about 60% of people 18 to 34 said they often or sometimes felt lonely, compared to only 35% of those over 55, reports the BBC . The findings, a psychiatrist tells the... More »

Loneliness Is Communicable

Feel bad, friends feel bad—but only for 3 degrees of separation

(Newser) - Lonelyhearts of the world unite—your malaise may not be the fault of your particular situation, but rather that of contagious ill-feeling. A new study finds that loneliness is infectious—lonely neighbors that interact regularly with those next-door pass on increased loneliness. So “you can use your friends to... More »

Robot Dogs Cheer Up Elderly

Study says robo-mutt relieved loneliness as effectively as a real dog

(Newser) - Robot dogs are almost as effective as the real thing in cheering up elderly nursing home residents, a new study at St. Louis University has found. Once the patients had some time to get used to him, researchers say robot mutt AIBO lowered loneliness levels about as well as a... More »

Religious Belief Linked to Loneliness

Study also associates love for pets, computers with social isolation

(Newser) - Most people can't stomach loneliness, and they're more prone to believing in the supernatural or creating strong bonds with pets and household objects to compensate, a new study finds. It's a throwback to our ancestors, who relied on group living to survive, LiveScience reports. "Being socially isolated is just... More »

Lonely People's Genes Make Them Sick

Loners' DNA shows impaired immune system, study says

(Newser) - Scientists say they’ve figured out why loners get sick and die young: “a highly suspicious conspiracy of genes” screws up their immune systems, Reuters reports. Their altered DNA can lead to heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and other problems. “There is something about being isolated and lonely... More »

12 Stories