Alpha Stories

Published on Thursday, July 29, 2010

COPD patients who socialize live longer; study finds loneliness is as harmful as alcoholism and smoking

Medical News Today
A new study suggests that social interaction should be considered an important factor for extending lifespan, on a par with other health and lifestyle factors.

In fact, low social interaction harms longevity as much as alcoholism and smoking, has more impact than lack of exercise, and is twice as harmful as obesity.

Researchers at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah, conducted a meta-analysis of published studies and found that having social ties with friends, family, neighbors and colleagues can improve our odds of survival by 50 percent. You can read about their study online in a paper published in the July issue of PLoS Medicine.

“The idea that a lack of social relationships is a risk factor for death is still not widely recognized by health organizations and the public,” noted the journal editors in their summary.

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