This lockdown and self-isolation have largely impacted our lives. We have become more sensible, careful and kind. Those who used to take their health for granted are now making most hygiene practices. People who used to never care about the environment are now planting trees around them. Those who used to eat out the most are trying out their hands at cooking. No wonder, social distancing has proved to be a boon for us in certain manners. But some things are not right. Talking about social isolation and health, researchers have found that social isolation may prevent COVID-19 but it is risking our lives to cardiovascular problems. Yes, you read that right. Social isolation increases the risk of heart attacks by almost 40%.
Social Isolation and Heart Disease
Staying around family and loved ones make us extremely happy, isn’t it? Those who are away from their family and friends are longing to meet them soon before their heart loves them. If you go days without talking your besties, you feel like sinking. This time you haven’t met them for a really long(probably the longest) time which is affecting your heart too. This is one of the main reasons why the risk of cardiovascular disease is high during this time.
The research team studied more than 4,300 participants for almost 13 years! This is detailed research that involved people of all age groups. None of them had a cardiovascular issue before. The team took a close check on their social isolation period which involved all types of social support from friends group to marital relationship to the family background to other social connections in terms of political, spiritual or other such groups.
Social Isolation and Health
After 13 years of comprehensive analysis, it was found that about 339 people suffered heart issues and 530 deaths. The main reason behind this happenings was social isolation or lack of social contact which increased the risk by 44%. Dr. Janine Gronewold, lead researcher from the University Hospital in Essen said, “What this study tells us is that having strong social relationships is of high importance for your heart health and similar to the role of classical protective factors such as having a healthy blood pressure, acceptable cholesterol levels, and normal weight.”
Another researcher Dirk M Hermann said, “We need to take this seriously and find effective ways of tackling the problems associated with social isolation to improve our overall health and longevity.”
This shows that no matter what, we shouldn’t disregard social relations. They are an important factor in determining our health. As soon as things get back to normal, meet your friends and family in person. Till then, stay in touch as we have the technology to stay virtually social.
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