loneliness would be bad for your heart

The feeling of loneliness and social isolation would be dangerous for the heart, according to a recent study. They would increase the risk of developing heart disease.

As former British Prime Minister Theresa May said, loneliness is “one of the greatest public health problems of our time”. Ultimately, it would have an impact on our psychological health, but also physical and in particular on the heart, according to the conclusions of a study by the American Heart Association.

According to his results, loneliness or isolation increases the risk of developing heart disease by around 30%. Note that it is important to clearly differentiate between the two phenomena. “Although social isolation and feelings of loneliness are related, they are not the same thing”reminded Crystal Wiley Cené who led the study. “Individuals may lead relatively isolated lives and not feel lonely, and conversely, people with many social contacts may still experience loneliness”she explained.

In concrete terms, by analyzing the results of research published up to July 2021, the researchers found that the risk of stroke increased by 32% and that of heart attack by 29% in single people. An alarming finding that should push medical players to take appropriate measures.

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Adopt urgent measures

“There is an urgent need to develop, implement and evaluate programs and strategies to reduce the negative effects of social isolation and loneliness on cardiovascular and brain health, especially for at-risk populations”added Dr. Céné while trying to provide a concrete solution.

“Clinicians should ask patients how often they are socially active and whether they are satisfied with their level of interactions with friends and family. They should then be prepared to refer socially isolated or lonely people – especially those who have a history of heart disease or stroke – to community resources to help them connect with others.”

The risk of social isolation increases with age due to life-related factors, such as widowhood and retirement. However, young adults are not spared. According to a recent Harvard University survey, Generation Z (those aged 18 to 22) is described as the loneliest. Increased isolation and loneliness in young adults can be attributed to increased use of social networks and therefore low participation in in-person activities.

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