Friend and family visits may reduce your death risk, study finds

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A recent study shows that people who aren’t visited by friends or family have a higher chance of dying earlier.

The study, which looks at how different social interactions affect our lifespan, found that being alone too much could be bad for our health.

Researchers looked at the social habits of over 450,000 adults in the UK, asking them about their social lives and following them for about 12 years. They found that not having visitors was the biggest social factor linked to an increased risk of death.

The numbers were clear: people who were never visited by friends or family had a 39% higher risk of dying during the study period.

The study also showed that joining weekly groups didn’t help people who didn’t have visitors. But, those who had friends or family visit at least once a month had a much better chance of living longer. This suggests that personal visits have a protective effect on our health.

The researchers noted that the study wasn’t perfect—people reported on their own social interactions, which can be unreliable, and the participants weren’t a perfect reflection of the UK population.

More research is needed, but this study opens the door to understanding how being socially connected can keep us living longer.

If you care about wellness, please read studies about how ultra-processed foods and red meat influence your longevity, and why seafood may boost healthy aging.

For more information about wellness, please see recent studies that olive oil may help you live longer, and vitamin D could help lower the risk of autoimmune diseases.

The research findings can be found in BMC Medicine.

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