Monday, 18 December 2017

How loneliness affects our health

The potentially harmful effects of loneliness and social isolation on health and longevity, especially among older adults, are well established.

For example, in 2013, I reported on research finding that loneliness can impair health by raising levels of stress hormones and inflammation, which in turn, can increase the risk of heart disease, arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, dementia, and even suicide attempts.

But people can be socially isolated and not feel lonely; they simply prefer a more hermetic existence. Likewise, people can feel lonely even when surrounded by lots of people, especially if the relationships are not emotionally rewarding.

Perhaps equally surprising is the finding that older adults are not necessarily the loneliest among us. Although most studies of the effects of loneliness have looked only at older people, Dr Holt-Lunstad, who with colleagues, has analysed 70 studies encompassing 3.4 million people, said that the prevalence of loneliness peaks in adolescents and young adults, then again in the oldest old.


You may want to read Loneliness is as bad for health as smoking 15 a day

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Stop sleeping with your mobile phone

Anything closer than arm's length could cause cancer and infertility, health officials warn.

California Department of Health released guidance for reducing exposure to cell phone radiation on Thursday, amid mounting evidence that cell phone use may be linked to cancer, attention, mental health and reproductive health issues.

Cell phones transmit information using low frequency radio signals, which may expose us to unhealthy radiation, especially when streaming or downloading large files.

Research has not been able to prove definitively that cell phone radiation is dangerous, but there have been enough studies linking the two to warrant caution, especially for children, according to the health department press release.