Why having friends may save your life
Being separated from people and being unhappy about a lack of social connections are more susceptible to heart attacks and stroke compared to people with strong social networks.
The study suggests that people who are isolated or lonely have an increased chance of death among people with a history of heart disease.
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480, 000 adults in the UK were observed taking into account social behaviour, height, weight, body mass index and grip strength.
Isolation increases the risk of heart attack and stroke by 7% and 6%, respectively, while loneliness raises heart attack and stroke risk by 6% and 4%.
Social isolation bumps a person’s risk of death by 25% among those with a history of heart attack, and by 32% for those with a history of stroke.
While social isolation may not cause heart problems, it could severely hinder the ability to recover from them.
The findings suggest that maintaining personal relationships is lifesaving.
Experts recommend maintaining existing relationships by meeting family members or friends face-to-face.
They also suggest finding people with common interests especially sports, hobbies or forms of entertainment as an effective way to make new social connections.