Tags: loneliness | early | mortality | study

Loneliness, Early Mortality Are a Couple, New Study Discovers

By    |   Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 07:27 AM

Loneliness and social isolation can lead to early mortality, as much as obesity can, according to a new study that also found younger people are at greater risk, perhaps because of online technology.

Julianne Holt-Lunstad, the lead author of the study conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University and published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, said in a Brigham Young media release that social interaction should be taken into consideration for long-term health as much exercising and eating the proper foods.

"The effect of this is comparable to obesity, something that public health takes very seriously," said Holt-Lunstad, who teaches psychology at Brigham Young. "We need to start taking our social relationships more seriously."

The BYU study reported that one of the big takeaways from the research suggested that young people faced a greater risk for mortality because of loneliness than the older population. The study stated that loneliness and social isolation were better predictors for premature death among populations younger than 65.

"Not only are we at the highest recorded rate of living alone across the entire century, but we're at the highest recorded rates ever on the planet," said Tim Smith, co-author of the study. "With loneliness on the rise, we are predicting a possible loneliness epidemic in the future."

The study suggested that social media websites, which are designed to connect people, could be one contributing factor to the loneliness.

"With the evolution of the Internet, people can keep in contact over distances that they couldn't before," the study's authors said. "However, the superficiality of some online experiences may miss emotional context and depth. Too much texting with each other can actually hurt a romantic relationship, for example."

A 2013 Brigham Young study of 276 young adults suggested that such social media techniques as texting created problems in a relationship is they were done too often. That study, published in the October 2013 issue of the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, found that texting to work out differences and make decisions were associated low relationship quality.

"Male texting frequency was negatively associated with relationship satisfaction and stability scores for both partners while female texting frequency was positively associated with their own relationship stability scores," reads the abstract from the texting study.

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Loneliness and social isolation can lead to early mortality, as much as obesity can, according to a new study that also found younger people are at greater risk, perhaps because of online technology.
loneliness, early, mortality, study
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2015-27-17
Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 07:27 AM
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