If you are feeling lonely and isolated, it may be time for you to check how well your heart is working.
A new study by researchers from the University of York shows loneliness and isolation heighten the risk of heart disease.
Loneliness is already known to weaken the immune system, raise blood pressure, and contribute to other health complications.
The researchers led by Nicole Valtorta analyzed the data from 23 previously studies.
They found that loneliness and poor social relationships were associated with a 29 per cent increase in risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD) and a 32 per cent increase in risk of stroke.
The data included more than 180,000 people aged 18 or above with over 4,600 of them had heart attacks, angina or died and more than 3,000 who had suffered strokes.
The finding appeared online in the journal Heart.
The researchers, however, termed it as an observational study and said no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect.
The findings, however, back public health concerns about the importance of social contacts for health and well
What is Loneliness?
Lonely is not being alone, it is a negative state of mind and you feel a state of emptiness even if you have everything, friends, family near and dears.
You stay sad/depressed and anxious or you lack self-confidence. You may have developed it due to some personal circumstances or you have lost social contacts and finding it difficult to cope it.
While people having prolonged loneliness can improve their mental condition by a lifestyle change, some need medical intervention and counselling.
“When we aggregated the effect estimates across the studies we found that people with weaker social relationships had a 29 per cent greater risk of developing CHD (Coronary heart disease) than the people with stronger social relationships” said Nicole Valtorta.