Being lonely can literally break your heart. A new study published in the Journal Heart says isolation, loneliness and being unhappy can put you at a higher risk of getting heart attacks, reports Time Magazine.
For a world that is increasingly lonely despite being virtually connected like never before, it’s not good news.
Loners are more prone to getting stroke and heart attacks. Social isolation also puts people with a history of heart disease at risk of death.
Almost 480,000 adults in the UK were quizzed about their social lives, loneliness, medical histories and lifestyle habits and tracked for seven years.
The initial data was disturbing:
Isolation was associated with a 43% higher risk of first-time heart attack and a 39% higher risk of first-time stroke.
Loneliness put you at a 49% higher risk of first-time heart attack and a 36% higher risk of first-time stroke.
Once the authors also evaluated socio economic and health factors, the numbers did come down. Isolation only seemed to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke by 7% and 6%. Loneliness raised heart attack and stroke risk by 6% and 4%.
Another study conducted by the American Psychological Association had claimed that ‘social isolation, loneliness could be a greater threat to public health than obesity’. Speaking with FIT, leading psychiatrist in Delhi, Dr Achal Bhagat had earlier said this about loneliness:
Loneliness takes a toll on your overall fitness levels. Blood pressure and cholesterol levels may shoot up due to the mental sense of isolation.Dr Achal Bhagat
You need to make an effort, break the cycle of isolation, talk to a new person everyday.