A new study has found that loneliness can speed up the effects of aging and increase the risk of heart diseases.
The study was conducted by researchers at Cornell's University who divided 182 men into two groups, with the first group between 18 to 30 years of age and the second group between 65 to 80 years of age. The researchers then took blood pressures of the participants at the start, during and after the test.
The participants were assessed for their social bonds and the researchers found that those who viewed themselves as lonely had higher blood pressure levels and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases compared to their contemporaries.
"The most striking thing we found was that the cardiovascular response of the lonely young adults to the social stressor task looked more like that of the non-lonely older adults. I think it's helpful to distinguish the emotional pangs that are associated with acute loneliness from the more chronic feelings of distress that accompany perceived deficits in the quality of our social relationships", lead researcher Anthony Ong said.