People who feel consistently lonely have a 14% higher risk of premature death than those who don’t, a new study shows.
The impact of loneliness on early death is almost as strong as the impact of being poor, which increased the chances of dying early by 19%, the research found.
“Loneliness is a risk factor for early death beyond what can be explained by poor health behaviors,” says psychologist John Cacioppo, director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. He discussed his research Sunday at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Chicago. “Feeling lonely isn’t only unhappy; it’s unsafe.”
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