Feeling lonely leads to Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure and heart disease

Those who were lonely were more likely to develop difficulties performing activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, using arms and shoulders, climbing stairs and walking.

 

Dr. Cacioppo also points to a review of research, published in 1988, showing that “social isolation is on a par with high , obesity, lack of exercise, or smoking as risk factors for illness and early death.”

 

Researchers have begun taking a close look at the health risks of feeling lonely. Leading the way in this effort is Dr. John Cacioppo, a psychologist at the University of Chicago, who tell us that loneliness undermines our ability to self-regulate, to take care of our own health and well-being.

 

Many people think of loneliness as the result of being isolated, not having a lot of contact with people, but this is not the case. There is an important distinction between loneliness and social isolation.

 

If you’ve felt it, hopefully your experiences have been short term, because research is telling us that chronic loneliness — the kind that can last for years — can do more than just make us feel unhappy…