Scientists have long known that seniors who don’t have any close social ties and who feel isolated or lonely are at a greater risk of developing health problems. However, a new study sheds some light on exactly how risky social isolation can be for an elderly people.
Researches are the University of California, San Francisco, recently released the results of a study which shows that people age 60 and older who feel alone are more than 40 percent more likely to die when compared to these who feel socially connected.
The study followed about 1,600 participants who self-reported their feelings about sociability and social connectedness over a period of six years. During that time, the researchers asked the participants a series of questions every two years, as well as taking basic information about their health and any health problems they had.
The results also showed that those who felt isolated had a much higher risk of experiencing a significant decrease in a physical decline that made it harder for them to perform tasks such as cooking, eating, dressing, and other day-to-day activities.
This study adds more evidence to the importance of participating in social activities and having friends as you get older. Previous research has shown that isolation can lead to problems such as an increased risk of heart disease and even a decrease in the body’s ability to fight disease.