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Loneliness may be a greater public health hazard than obesity: Study

Loneliness and isolation may actually lead to early death, researches say

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Representative Image
Representative Image

may be a greater public hazard than obesity, according to a study which found that social may put people at an increased risk of

"Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need - crucial to both well-being and survival," said Julianne Holt-Lunstad, professor at in the US.


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

"Yet an increasing portion of the USPopulation now experiences regularly," she said.

To illustrate the influence of social and on the risk for premature mortality, Holt-Lunstad presented data from two research reviews.

The first involved 148 studies, representing more than 300,000 participants, and found that greater social connection is associated with a 50 per cent reduced risk of

The second study, involving 70 studies representing more than 3.4 million individuals from North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, examined the role that social isolation, or living alone might have on mortality.

Researchers found that all three had a significant and equal effect on the risk of premature death, one that was equal to or exceeded the effect of other well-accepted risk factors such as obesity.

"There is robust evidence that social and significantly increase risk for premature mortality, and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading indicators," said Holt-Lunstad.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, August 08 2017. 04:17 IST
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