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Socially isolated elderly have higher death risk

26th March 2013

The results of a study of more than 6,500 men and women in the UK aged over 52 have shown that socially isolated people have a 26% higher risk of death over a seven year period.

Old Woman 400

The research showed that even if people did not feel lonely because of their social isolation, they still had the same risk of death.

Study leader Prof Andrew Steptoe, director of the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care at University College London, said the number of people aged 55-64 who were living alone had increased by 50% over the last 15 years.

He said: "Social connections can provide emotional support and warmth which is important but they also provide things like advice, making sure people take their medication and provide support in helping them to do things."

"It would suggest that those practical aspects are quite important for older people's survival." 

 

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