Loneliness or isolation more likely to increase the chances of having one or more cardiovascular events such as stroke or heart attack.
A recent review conducted by researchers from the University of York, the University of Liverpool and Newcastle University found that loneliness has a similar impact like stress on the heart.
‘Lonely people are around 30 percent more likely to suffer a stroke or heart disease, two of the leading causes of death in high-income countries.’
They examined 23 relevant studies, involving more than 181,000 adults, where 4,628 coronary heart disease and 3,002 stroke "events" were recorded. The findings were published in the Journal Heart
They found that loneliness increased the risk of having a coronary heart disease by 29% and a stroke by 32%. Loneliness has already been linked to a compromised immune system, high blood pressure, and ultimately, premature death.
"The main finding of our review, that isolated individuals are at increased risk of developing CHD and stroke, supports public health concerns over the implications of social relationships for health and well-being," said Dr. Nicole Valtorta, Department of Health Sciences of the University of York.
"Our work suggests that addressing loneliness and social isolation may have an important role in the prevention of two of the leading causes of morbidity in high-income countries," he added.