Loneliness kills: People without contact with family or friends have a 39% higher risk of death

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Loneliness seriously damages health. This is proven by science once again: new research has shown that people who do not receive visits from family or friends even once a month have a 39% higher risk of death.

The work, published this Friday in the journal BMC Medicine, has monitored the social interactions of 458,146 people between 40 and 70 years old -with an average of 56 years- during a period of 12.6 years.

The scientists, researchers from the University of Glasgow, evaluated the participants’ responses to five questions during this time. Two of them were subjective: how often they could trust someone close to them and how often they felt alone; and the other three had an objective nature: how often they saw family and friends, whether they participated in any weekly group activities, and whether they lived alone.

At the end of the period studied, 33,135 participants had died.

According to the research conclusions, the five issues analyzed, if they showed isolation, were associated with higher mortality. However, of all of them, the greatest relationship with the risk of dying occurred in people who claimed to never receive visits from family or friends. In them, the risk of death was 39% higher. And, the study does not show that participating in any group activity can provide any benefit to them, if they do not have the ‘warmth’ of loved ones.

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