Social Isolation Connected to Increase in Health Problems

Port Huron, MI  –Social isolation is a word everyone is familiar with these days. Staying away from others during this pandemic is promoted as a key to keeping us safe, but a new study finds that prolonged social isolation is also quite dangerous.

The study was conducted by Dr. Janine Gronewold and Professor Dirk M. Hermann from the University Hospital in Essen, Germany, and they analyzed data on 4,316 people who had been recruited for research.

The study found that socially isolated people are over 40% more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke, or other major cardiovascular events. Moreover, the socially isolated are nearly 50% more likely to die from any cause.

Similar studies have found that social isolation is associated with an increased risk in health conditions including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, elevated stress hormones, and weakened immune systems.  According to a study co-authored by Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University, lack of social connection heightens health risks as much as smoking, alcohol use disorder, and obesity.

Reporting for WGRT – Marty Doorn