Those who are socially isolated are at greater risk of dying of a cardiac arrest or a stroke

Monday, November 12, 2018

Research has long shown that those who are lonely or living in social isolation are at greater risk of having strokes or heart problems. But there may be other things than the loneliness that constitutes the danger, according to a new Finnish study, writes research magazine.no.

Overweight and smoking explained the heart problems, not loneliness. It is still true that those who feel lonely or living in social isolation are more prone to stroke or cardiac arrest than the rest of the population. But 85 percent of this increased danger can be explained by things we already know is bad for the heart.

It may be that they alone suffer from sickness overweight, smoke, have low education and low income or another chronic illness that causes them to suffer from bad health. Solitude comes only in addition to all this. This is the conclusion of a new study in the scientific journal Heart, writes the Norwegian research magazine.

The researchers have used information from a major British health survey called BioBank. Half a million brits between 40 and 69 years were followed for about seven years. They had to answer the questionnaire and go through health checks. 10 percent of them lived in social isolation, while 6 percent were lonely. Only one percent were both.

“It’s good for your health to have social support from a boyfriend or other people who are in a similar situation to you. Socially isolated or lonely individuals may not have this kind of support, “says Christian Hakulinen to the news magazine Time, cited by Research.no. He is a professor of psychology at the University of Helsinki and is the lead researcher of the new study.

There is a big difference in feeling lonely and being socially isolated, according to the researchers. You can feel lonely even if you participate in a lot of social activities and get clean down by visiting and it is possible to live social isolation without feeling lonely. Some thrive best alone, they strike.

Those of the study participants who said that they rarely or never had anyone they could trust and felt lonely, categorized researchers just as – lonely. But for the researchers to say that you lived in social isolation, you had to live alone, visit family and friends less than once a month and do not attend regular social activities during a regular week. It can be anything from handball training to a regular meeting with the quiz team or the book club, writes Research.no.

Although the Finnish researchers believe that most of the increased risk lonely and isolated to have heart problems is due to other things, isolation appears to be a danger signal in itself.

Those who are socially isolated are at greater risk of dying of a cardiac arrest or a stroke, according to the study. Especially if they had a blow earlier. Here, the researchers found that some of the increased dangers could be due to overweight or chronic illness, but the social isolation itself remained an important risk factor. It may be because the insulated does not have anyone to lean on when things go wrong, writes Research.no.

“It may be that those who feel lonely have a social network they can start after they get sick. But people who are socially isolated do not have this type of network, “says Hakulinen to Time.

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