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LONELINESS AND ITS IMPACT ON HEALTH

Combating loneliness is increasingly gaining attention as the healthcare industry tries to deal with the social determinants of health. Several studies are linking spikes in mortality to a person's social isolation with studies showing the following:

LONELINESS CAN RAISE YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE
It has been found that there is a direct correlation between loneliness and heart disease. Studies have shown that people with fewer social ties have a 29% higher risk of having heart disease.

DEPRESSION
It has been shown that the link between loneliness and depression has been written about with a great deal of frequency. Loneliness can lead to the onset of depression.

LESS RESTORATIVE SLEEP
People who are lonely show less restorative sleep than those with strong social bonds. They are light sleepers, toss and turn more and feel more tired in the morning.

MORTALITY RATES CAN INCREASE IF YOU ARE LONELY
One study showed that loneliness can increase a person's risk of mortality by 26%.

SOCIAL ANXIETY
Studies show that lonely people analyze social interactions better but choke under social pressure and experience worse social anxiety.

LONELINESS IS AS BAD FOR YOU AS OTHER CLINICAL HEALTH CONDITIONS
One study found that the fewer social interactions a person had, the more chance they had of dying. Additionally, it was found that being lonely for a significant period of time is as bad for you as smoking and other clinical health problems.

DEMENTIA LINKED TO LONELINESS
A study found a link between being alone and developing dementia. The study found that elderly people that were alone had 64% more chance of developing dementia than elderly people with a solid network of friends and family.

One in three people over the age of 45 reported being lonely. In adults ages 50-80, 34% feel a lack of companionship and 27% feel isolated from others. Twenty-eight percent of people over the age of 65 live alone. Medicare spends $134 more per month for each socially isolated adult than it does for people with normal levels of social contact. That equals $6.7 billion annually.

If you are someone that deals with loneliness and have any of the above issues, please contact your local physician or call Sabetha Family Practice at (785) 284-2141 to make an appointment for help. Your life, health and happiness are SO worth it.

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