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New research confirms connection between loneliness, poor health


The quality, rather than the quantity, of your relationships appears to matter more when it comes to staving off feelings of loneliness and certain health-related problems, according to findings published in the latest issue of Health Communication.

Previous research has found that loneliness has repercussions on a person's health and can lead to such conditions as sleep dysfunction and higher blood pressure. To better understand why loneliness is associated with poor health, researchers at the University of Arizona surveyed 265 adults ages 19 to 85 on social support, loneliness, stress, health behaviors and general health. They concluded:

Lonely people were prone to have fewer close connections, were less apt to manage daily stressors well and tended not to keep up on their health. Also, lonely people did not get adequate sleep.

[Researchers] noted that age did not predict whether a person would be lonely and living away from close friends and family did not have a negative effect...Being partnered did not shield a person from feelings of loneliness...Instead, having close friends and family members appeared to be more important.

Previously: Fortress of Solitude not such a good idea: Loneliness may raise blood pressure and Can you catch loneliness?
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