Loneliness and Social isolation are becoming an inaudible disease spread all around the World. Isolation and Social distancing are a new normal during this COVID-19 pandemic disease. A new study finds that lonelier women tend to develop a higher risk of Cardiovascular disease. Women alone have developed a 27% higher risk of heart disease.
Lonely Women Tend To Have An Increased Risk Of Heart Disease
A global report released in 2021 gave shocking statistics that about 33% of adults in the world are suffering from loneliness Worldwide. COVID-19 plays a key role in hiking the percentage to the next level. A study conducted in 2020 with 1008 participants showed that about 80% of the people were suffering from significant depressive symptoms.
Social isolation and loneliness are not the same. Both can occur within the same person but are different. Loneliness is a condition of being alone. It is a stressful state of mind where people perceive to be isolated. Loneliness is classified into four categories, They are Social, Emotional, Chronic, and Situational. Social isolation is decreased interaction with other people. People who do not regularly meet people, share thoughts and try to socialize are considered socially isolated.
Postdoctoral scholar and first author of the study Natalie Golaszewski, Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science said: “COVID-19 had increased the rate of loneliness and social isolation, we are social animals and this may affect us badly. It is need of the hour to analyze more about the impact on loneliness in our heart and overall well-being.”
The study conducted by UCSD between 2014 to 2015 in the US with 57,825 women participants after menopause was done by sending a list of questions to know about their health, health-related issues, and loneliness. These people were kept on track until 2019 and among those 57,825 women, 1,599 were found to have been identified with heart disease.
This study proved that people who experience social isolation and loneliness have about 8% and 5% increase in the risk of Cardiovascular disease respectively. In the case of women, their risk rate is found to be increased by 13% to 27% when they are alone.
Loneliness can be an opportunity to understand ourselves and our needs. But when the limit exceeds it may cause several adverse effects like:
- High blood pressure
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Sleep disorder
- Cognitive decline
- Less immunity
- Triggers suicidal thoughts and more.
Research at the University of York states a fact that people who undergo loneliness and social isolation develop a 29% heightened risk of angina and a 32% risk of stroke. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that one in five deaths of women is caused by heart disease.
Senior author of the study and assistant professor of epidemiology, John Bellettier, Wertheim School shares his views that Social isolation is about physically being away from people and avoiding contact with fellow people whereas loneliness is a feeling of being avoided or isolated, they meet people but stay alone. This study has not analyzed the main cause of risk related to heart disease and the effect of loneliness on it. Further analysis and studies are required to know more about this.”
Some ways by which loneliness along with its related risks can be reduced are by:
- Trying to socialize with people.
- Maintaining a close circle of friends.
- Practicing yoga, meditation, and exercise.
- Traveling regularly
- Stepping out of the introvert zone.
- Expressing emotions and feelings.
- Adopting a pet.
- Concentrating on health.
- Studying personality development books.
- Seeking medical help.
- Meeting strangers and speaking with them.
This study further aims to brief out the exact reason for heart disease associated with loneliness and social isolation. It aims to find the long-term and short-term effects of loneliness in our bodies and explore the unknown sides of heart disease and loneliness.
This research published in JAMA Network Open was conducted by Sam Hodgson, Isabella Watts, Simon Fraser, Paul Roderick, and Hajira Dambha-Miller. Three researchers were from the University of Southampton and one researcher was from the St George’s University of London.