Loneliness increases risk of early death in people with heart disease, stroke

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In a study from the University of Limerick and elsewhere, scientists found that loneliness, social isolation, and living alone is associated with premature death for those with heart disease or stroke

They found that people with heart disease have higher levels of loneliness, and social isolation, and that life alone, tends to die prematurely.

The research, which encompasses studies from around the world, sheds new light on the negative health impact of loneliness, social isolation, and living alone for people with heart disease.

In the study, the team reviewed studies that followed people for decades across multiple regions including Europe, North America, and Asia. Each factor was found to be predictive of mortality risk.

They found that each of these factors is critically important to consider in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, as increased levels of loneliness, social isolation, and living alone appear to lead to premature death.

There are likely several reasons for this ranging from support from another person to how an individual biologically responds to stress.

Interestingly, the effects of living alone appeared stronger in European countries, perhaps reflecting the large number of those living alone in parts of Europe.

The team says while supporting public health concerns surrounding loneliness and social isolation, the study points to the need for rigorous research in this area across a greater range of geographical regions.

These are clear factors that need to be considered and the resulting development of interventions for anyone with cardiovascular disease.

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The study was conducted by Róisín Long et al and published in the journal of Psychosomatic Medicine.

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