Lonely? You May Not Live as Long

Those who live alone also at risk of early death: studies
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2012 1:56 PM CDT
Updated Jun 23, 2012 7:00 PM CDT
Lonely? You May Not Live as Long
Loneliness may be harmful to your health.   (Shutterstock)

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 alone. Among those ages 45 to 65, the risk was 24% higher over the four-year period studied; among those ages 66 to 80 the risk was just 12% higher, and there was no increased risk among those aged 80 and up.

Why? Living alone could be a sign of other problems, including relationship issues or depression, or it could simply be that those who live alone don't have the added benefits of someone else watching out for their health. But the second study suggests that the simple feeling of loneliness also contributes: It found, in people age 60 and older, that those who reported feeling lonely, isolated, or left out were 45% more likely to die during the study. Sadly, 43% of the study population reported feeling lonely, even though not all of them lived alone. Click for more on both studies from CNN. (Read more lonely stories.)

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