Loneliness can Trigger Heart Disease and Strokes
Being lonely and socially isolated can increase a person’s risk of heart disease or stroke, new research suggests.
The effect loneliness has on the heart is similar to that seen in people who suffer anxiety or have stressful jobs, experts found.
Researchers from the UniversityofYork, the University of Liverpool and Newcastle University reviewed evidence on the impact loneliness has on heart disease and stroke risk.
They examined 23 relevant studies, involving more than 181,000 adults, where 4,628 coronary heart disease and 3,002 stroke “events” were recorded. After analysing the data they found that loneliness and isolation were associated with a29%increaseinriskforcoronary heart disease and a 32% increase in risk of stroke.
“We found an associationbetweenpoor social relationships and incident cardiovascular disease comparable in size to other recognised psychosocial risk factors, such as anxiety and job strain,” the authors wrote in the journal Heart.
“Our findings indicate that efforts to reduce the risk of coronary heartdiseaseandstrokecouldbenefit from taking both loneliness and social isolation into account.