Recently I read an article throwing light on the Loneliness at old age and its associated health risks. Thought it is worth sharing it as many of us are one way or the other undergoing similar situations. The article says “research has linked Social Isolation and Loneliness to higher risks for a variety of physical and mental conditions”.
High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Obesity, weak Immune System, Anxiety, Depression, Cognitive Decline, Alzheimer’s Disease, Death in some cases are some of the health effects. It is said that retired people, those left alone due to the death of a spouse or partner, separation from family and friends are particularly at risk.
People tend to believe that they don’t have a sense of purpose of living at some stage and that leads to loneliness and health risks. We must always engage ourselves in meaningful and productive activities as far as we can, to live longer and healthier. This improves their cognitive function as per studies.
Another article published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows the health risks related to loneliness as follows.
Health Risks of Loneliness
Although it’s hard to measure social isolation and loneliness precisely, there is strong evidence that many adults aged 50 and older are socially isolated or lonely in ways that put their health at risk. Recent studies found that:
- Social isolation significantly increased a person’s risk of premature death from all causes, a risk that may rival those of smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity
- Social isolation was associated with about a 50% percent increased risk of dementia
- Poor social relationships (characterized by social isolation or loneliness) was associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke
- Loneliness was associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide
- Loneliness among heart failure patients was associated with a nearly 4 times increased risk of death, 68% increased risk of hospitalization, and 57% increased risk of emergency department visits
Read the complete report by CDC here