A study has revealed that men and women who feel lonely are more likely to have worse mental health, heart conditions and die early.
According to Anne Vinggaard Christensen of The Heart Centre, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark said, “loneliness is more common today than ever before, and more people live alone.”
“Previous research has shown that loneliness and social isolation are linked with coronary heart diseases and stroke, but this has not been investigated in patients with different types of cardiovascular diseases.”
For the study, 13,463 patients with ischemic heart disease, arrhythmia, heart failure, or heart valve disease were examined and seen whether poor social network was associated with worse outcomes or not.
Feeling lonely was associated with poor outcomes in all patients regardless of their type of heart disease. Loneliness was associated with a doubled mortality risk in women and nearly doubled risk in men.
“Loneliness is a strong predictor of premature death, worse mental health, and lower quality of life in patients with cardiovascular disease and a much stronger predictor than living alone, in both men and women,” said Vinggaard Christensen.
She added, “We live in a time when loneliness is more present and health providers should take this into account when assessing risk. Our study shows that asking two questions about social support provides a lot of information about the likelihood of having poor health outcomes.”
The findings were presented at EuroHeartCare 2018, the European Society of Cardiology’s annual nursing congress.