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Loneliness can be a real heartbreak

Sydney Murphy Health Day Reporter
Health Day Reporter

Friday, August 5, 2022 (HealthDay News) – Society Isolation and loneliness A new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) warns that people are at a 30% higher risk of heart attack, stroke or death.

The statement also highlights the lack of data on interventions that improve heart health in isolated or lonely people. It was published on August 4 in the Journal of the American Heart Association .

“More than four decades of research clearly show that both social isolation and loneliness are associated with poor health outcomes,” Crystal Wiley Dr. Cené said he led the team that wrote the statement. “Given the widespread social disconnection in the U.S., the impact on public health is quite significant.”

Nearly a quarter of According to the AHA, adults 65 and older are socially isolated, and as many as 47 percent may feel lonely. Risk increases with age due to factors such as retirement and widowhood.

But a survey by Harvard University shows that the most The lone generation is Gen Z – 18 to 22 years old – which is also probably the most isolated generation. One possible reason: They spend more time on social media and less time engaging in meaningful in-person events.

And the pandemic seems to make things worse for young and old, as well as women and the poor.

“Although social isolation and feeling lonely are related, they are not the same thing,” says UC San Diego Health Director said Cene, Chief Administrative Officer for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. “Individuals can live relatively isolated lives without feeling lonely, whereas people with more social contacts may still feel lonely.”

Social isolation refers to infrequent physical contact with people in social relationships such as family, friends, or members of the same community or religious group. Loneliness is when you feel alone or less connected with others than you would like.

Investigating the relationship between social isolation and heart, vascular and brain health, writing team reviewed as of July 2021 research on social isolation. Review found:

  • Social Isolation and loneliness are common but underappreciated factors that affect the heart, blood vessels, and brain.
  • Lack of social connection is associated with higher risk of premature death from any cause , especially in men.
  • People with less social connections are more likely to have chronically ill bodies Symptomatic stress. Isolation and loneliness are associated with increased inflammation.
  • When assessing social risk factors in isolation, it is important to remember that, Depression can lead to isolation, and isolation can make depression more likely.
  • Social isolation in childhood is associated with increased heart health risk factors, including Obesity, high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar levels.
  • Transportation, housing, family dissatisfaction, epidemics and natural disasters are some of the social and environmental factors that influence social interaction.

    “There is strong evidence linking social isolation and loneliness with an increased risk of worsening heart and brain health; however, with certain outcomes (such as heart failure, dementia and cognitive impairment) There are very few relevant data,” Cené said.

    The strongest evidence for a link between social isolation, loneliness, and death from heart disease and stroke There was a 32% increased risk of death from stroke and a 29% increased risk of heart attack.

    “Social isolation and loneliness are also associated with poorer outcomes in people who already have coronary heart disease or stroke,” Seine Say.

    In addition to behaviors that adversely affect heart and brain health, isolation and loneliness are associated with lower levels of self-reported physical Be active and reduce your intake of fruits and vegetables. Additionally, many large studies have found a significant link between loneliness and the likelihood of smoking.

    “There is an urgent need to develop, implement and evaluate plans and strategies to reduce the impact of social isolation and loneliness on cardiovascular and brain health negative effects, especially for high-risk groups,” Cené said in an AHA press release.

    She said clinicians should ask patients about their social activities and whether they Be satisfied with how well you interact with your friends and family.

    “Then they should be ready to refer those who are socially isolated or lonely – especially those with a history of heart disease Or a stroke – using community resources to help them connect with others,” she added.

    Authors say more research is needed to understand how isolation affects heart and brain health in children and young adults; from Rep people of sexually underrepresented racial and ethnic groups; LGBTQ people; people with physical or hearing impairments; people in rural areas; and people with limited resources.

    Statement states that research on older adults has found that interventions targeting negative thoughts and low self-competence are worthwhile, as well as older adults The center’s fitness programs and recreational activities have shown promise in reducing isolation and loneliness.

    “It’s unclear whether actually being isolated [social isolation] or feeling isolated [loneliness] has an impact on cardiovascular and brain health Most importantly, because only a few studies have examined both in the same sample,” Cené said, adding that more research is needed.

    More information

    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information on the health risks of loneliness.

    SOURCE: American Heart Association, Press Release, August 3, 2022



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