Poor social health can predict heart disease

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

In a new study from Monash University, researchers found that among healthy older adults, social isolation and low social support are strong predictors of overall heart risk.

They found that healthy older adults reporting social isolation were 66% more likely to experience a cardiovascular (CVD) event and those with low social support were at twice the risk.

In the study, the team tested 11,498 healthy Australian men and women over the age of 70 across an average of 4.5 years.

Social isolation was defined as engaging in community activities less than once per month and having contact with four or fewer relatives and close friends a month.

Social support was defined as having four or more relatives or close friends with whom private matters could be discussed, or be called upon for help. Loneliness was defined as feeling lonely three or more days per week.

The team says to reduce the significant health and economic burden associated with CVD, prevention can be improved by identifying and intervening upon factors that increase the risk of CVD.

The research reinforces the need to consider how social health may impact the risk of heart, stroke and blood vessel disease in older Australians.

Family and social support or connection with the community are not always constants in people’s lives.

But as the understanding of the role these factors play in cardiovascular health grows, researchers and government can do more to help older people stay connected and well supported.

If you care about heart disease, please read studies about this simple blood test could help reduce heart disease deaths and findings of this hormone may reduce inflammation, irregular heartbeat.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about vitamin K that may lower your heart disease risk by a third, and results showing that more intense blood pressure control may lower irregular heartbeat risk.

The study is published in BMC Geriatrics. One author of the study is Dr. Rosanne Freak-Poli.

Copyright © 2021 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.