Ask the average person the leading cause of death and the same few answers will pop up again and again.
Heart disease, cancer, respiratory issues, strokes, and accidents are all in the top five but there’s one silent killer connected to all of those widow makers which people rarely guess or discuss.
Loneliness. Yes, loneliness can kill, though not directly. Being lonely and depressed are usually the reason health issues escalate so quickly, according to new research from the European Society of Cardiology.
The study investigated if a poor social network was associated with worse outcomes in patients after being released from a hospital with heart issues. Researchers requested patients answer a questionnaire about their mental health, lifestyle factors such as smoking, and whether they had good personal relationships.
“Feeling lonely was associated with poor outcomes in all patients regardless of their type of heart disease, and even after adjusting for age, level of education, other diseases, body mass index, smoking, and alcohol intake. Loneliness was associated with a doubled mortality risk in women and nearly doubled risk in men. Both men and women who felt lonely were three times more likely to report symptoms of anxiety and depression, and had a significantly lower quality of life than those who did not feel lonely.”
Explained one of the researchers “Loneliness is a strong predictor of premature death, worse mental health, and lower quality of life in patients with cardiovascular disease, and a much stronger predictor than living alone, in both men and women.”
Loneliness is another way of saying depression. Check out these warning signs of depression and get yourself, or loved ones, the help they need.
[via Science Daily]