Research shows that loneliness and social isolation could increase the risk of dying early by 50%. Researchers tried to find out how loneliness affected the risk of dying early. People can be lonely even if they are with family and friends. Researchers also looked at the dangers of social isolation. This is when people have little or no contact with others. The research showed that the risk of an early death was 50 per cent lower for people who mixed with friends and family. Researchers said loneliness, social isolation, and living alone were all linked to an increased risk of early death.
The researchers said loneliness, social isolation, and living alone could be more dangerous than obesity. A professor said the research is worrying because the population is getting older. She said: "Many nations…suggest we are facing a 'loneliness epidemic'. The challenge…is what can be done about it." She suggested that one thing to help…is to teach social skills to children in schools. In addition, doctors could talk about loneliness to their patients. Finally, she said people should prepare for their old age social life like they do for their financial future.