Relationships, family, and people around us play a very important role in our lives. They are our support system and help us get through difficult times while celebrating the little joys of life.
Their absence can really get to us, and may also have an effect on our physical as well as mental health.
According to two studies published by Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University, it has been found that the overall effect of loneliness is that it can act as a risk factor for premature death.
According to the study, scoring low on the social indicators of the study implied risk similar to smoking 15 cigarettes in a day. The second study concluded that loneliness can lead to a 30 per cent increased risk of early death. This incidence is more than the risk of early death caused due to obesity, air pollution, or physical inactivity.
According to another recent report, an investigation conducted on American citizen over the age of 50, who died between 2004 and 2014, showed that people who were more lonely showed burdensome signs on the finish of existence, and were also more likely to make use of life-care.
They were also more likely to die in a nursing house, as compared to the other non-lonely people. However, loneliness can have the following effects on your physical and mental health:
- According to a study, older adults reporting social isolation or loneliness show poorer cognitive function four years later. It can increase the risk of mental health conditions like anxiety, depression.
- Another research found that lonely and non-lonely people did not differ in BMI or body mass index. Loneliness may also not significantly impact alcohol consumption, tobacco consumption, diet quality, medical compliance, or physical activity levels, as the study found them to be similar in lonely and non-lonely people, considering other variables.
- The same study also found that the risk of cardiovascular diseases may be higher in lonely individuals, as compared to others. Age-related increases in blood pressure and other heart conditions were more common in lonely people, as compared to the non-lonely group.
- Sleep plays a very important role in our overall health. While we sleep, our body works on recovering, rejuvenating, and refreshing our systems. According to studies, loneliness can also have an impact on sleep duration, and disturbances, significantly affecting our sleep quality and causing harm to our health.