Study: Loneliness leads to premature death

USA Today reports that according to the Health and Retirement Study, people with constant feelings of loneliness face a 14% greater premature death risk than those who do not.

Good relationships with even a small number of people can help alleviate this, according to lead author John Cacioppo.

The study found that loneliness often led to less restful sleep, increased blood pressure, heightened stress, increased depression and lowers the overall feeling of living a meaningful life.

People “can escape the clutches of loneliness as they age” by staying in touch with former friends and colleagues, maintaining meaningful relationships and participating in family activities, says Cacioppo, co-author of Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connections.

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