An international study of 44,573 participants reports that social isolation among people with or at risk of heart disease is associated with a 14.1 percent risk of dying compared with 11.1 percent for those living with someone else, a significant difference in such a large study.
Among 66- to 80-year-olds who lived alone, 13.2 percent had a four-year mortality rate compared with 12.3 percent for cohabitors. The researchers attribute the decline in the health of those living solo to three factors:
- They're more likely to ignore health issues.
- They don't have adequate access to healthcare.
- Living alone may cause emotional stress, which can lead to cardiovascular risk.
Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, vol. 172, p. 1086; Prepared by the Editors of The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: Health After 50