Loneliness associated with doubled mortality risk in heart disease patients, new study finds

By Marina Wang

A new study has further confirmed the adverse health effects that feeling lonely can have. Of patients with heart disease, loneliness was associated with doubled mortality risk in women and nearly doubled in men.

A growing body of research has shed light on the various impacts that feeling lonely can have on health. A meta-analysis revealed that loneliness is comparable with other well-established risk factors such as smoking or heavy drinking, and a stronger risk factor than physical inactivity or obesity.

Furthermore, a 2017 survey of 3,800 Vancouverites found that a third of residents find it difficult to make friends and a quarter said they feel lonely at times. Those that reported feeling loneliest were between 24 and 34.

The study, presented at EuroHeartCare 2018, surveyed 13, 463 Danish patients with ischaemic heart disease, arrhythmia, heart failure and heart valve disease and found that loneliness was associated with higher mortality regardless of the type of heart condition.

“Loneliness is a strong predictor of premature death, worse mental health, and lower quality of life in patients with cardiovascular disease, and a much stronger predictor than living alone, in both men and women,” said Anne Vinggaard Christensen, lead author of the study.

Vinggaard Christensen speculated that feeling lonely may lead patients to lead unhealthy lifestyles, be less compliant with treatment and be more affected by stressful events, but these factors can’t be the sole factor reasons for adverse health. “We adjusted for lifestyle behaviours and many other factors in our analysis, and still found that loneliness is bad for health,” she said.

One Response to Loneliness associated with doubled mortality risk in heart disease patients, new study finds

  1. nonconfidencevote says:

    hmmm,
    I’ll drink to those stats….
    Perhaps Lower Mainlanders should move to Newfoundland….the happiest people in Canada according to pollsters.

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