It is a known fact that being alone or socially isolated can affect our mental health. Still, a recent study published in the JAMA Network Open shows that lonely older women are more prone to heart diseases by 27%.
Desolation affects the human body in many ways. The most common is mental health, including anxiety, dementia, depression, and Alzheimer’s. This research adds heart diseases to this list as well.
Social isolation and loneliness may sound synonymous, but there is a clear distinction between them. The researchers described social isolation as a condition or situation where an individual is physically away from people. At the same time, loneliness can be felt even if people surround an individual.
The research was performed on about 58000 women post-menopause. The participants were tracked for more than a decade. Moreover, the study was conducted across the racial boundaries that included Asian Americans, Indian-Americans, Hispanics, non-Hispanic White, and others.
The research shows that heart diseases were more prone to people with social isolation by 8%, and loneliness increased the chances of heart diseases by 5%. Women who showed signs of high social isolation and loneliness were prone to heart diseases by 13-27%.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart diseases are one of the most common reasons for the death of US women. 1 in every 5 deaths is because of some heart disease.
Researchers said that one-third of 45 and older people suffer from loneliness, and one-fourth of 65 and older people suffer from social isolation. Women are even more prone to feel lonely and socially isolated.
The results shown in the research are pretty alarming as far as heart diseases are concerned. Another disease that was common in many women in the study was diabetes.
Indeed in the 21st century, our lives are so fast and occupied that it gives rise to a lack of social interactions, resulting in social isolation and sometimes loneliness. Older people are more prone to get affected by this. Older women are the most vulnerable of all.