Social isolation increases death risk
It’s important that elderly people avoid becoming socially isolated, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It found that older men and women who were isolated from their family and friends were at an increased risk of death.
The study screened 6,500 men and women over the age of 52 in the United Kingdom. Participants who did not have much contact with their family or friends had a 26 percent higher risk of death over seven years than those who saw their loved ones more frequently.
The preliminary findings suggested that participants had to be both socially isolated and report feeling lonely to have the increased risk of death. But after adjusting for underlying health conditions, the researchers found that social isolation alone increases the risk of death whether the participant reported feeling lonely or not.