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Loneliness: Social isolation increases risk of dying from heart attack or stroke

Living alone and seeing few people increases the risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke . This is the conclusion of a large study  of 479,000 Britons, asked about their feelings of loneliness and their degree of social isolation.

« Social isolation and loneliness are associated with a higher risk of serious myocardial infarction or stroke, » Finnish researchers write in the medical journal Heart on Tuesday . Social isolation appears to remain a risk factor for independent mortality after an infarction or stroke.  »

An increased mortality risk of 32%

The originality of this study is to isolate this factor from others. In fact, living alone often goes hand in hand with other risk factors for the heart, such as an unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity), poor mental health, or a situation of  poverty. .

Excluding these other risks, the researchers concluded that living alone increased mortality by 32% after an infarction or stroke.

Solitude, a real social scourge

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced in January 2018 the appointment of a Secretary of State for Isolated Persons to find solutions to the social scourge of loneliness.

In 2016, according to a Crédoc survey for the Fondation de France , one in ten French people is alone, ie five million people over the age of 15 who only rarely meet and spend time with family, friends, neighbors or acquaintances. .

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