'Need effective interventions to boost social connections': Loneliness could lead to strokes

Loneliness and social isolation for a longer period of time may lead to increased risk of stroke or heart disease, find researchers.

IANS April 20, 2016 14:05:43 IST
'Need effective interventions to boost social connections': Loneliness could lead to strokes

New York: Many of us feel lonely at certain times but loneliness and social isolation for a longer period of time may lead to increased risk of stroke or heart disease, find researchers.

Need effective interventions to boost social connections Loneliness could lead to strokes

Representational image. Reuters

The findings showed that loneliness and social isolation was associated with a 29 percent increased risk of a heart or angina attack and a 32 percent heightened risk of having a stroke.

"It suggests that addressing loneliness and social isolation may have an important role in the prevention of two of the leading causes of morbidity in high-income countries," said researchers from Brigham Young University in the US.

The study, involving more than 1,81,000 adults, included 4,628 coronary heart disease "events" – heart attacks, angina and death – and 3,002 strokes recorded during monitoring periods ranging from three to 21 years.

The results back public health concerns about the importance of social contacts for health and well-being.

"But one of the greatest challenges will be how to design effective interventions to boost social connections, taking account of technology," the authors pointed out in a paper published online in the journal Heart.

"Further attention to social connections is needed in research and public health surveillance, prevention and intervention efforts," they noted.

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