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So Lonely I Could Die

With an aging population, the effect on public health will only increase


Part of the Strengthening Rural Health Care for Older Adults Special Report

(Editor’s note: This content is provided by the John A. Hartford Foundation, a Next Avenue sponsor.)

The American Psychological Association has published a compelling article on its website about the health effects of loneliness, including among older adults.

Loneliness and social isolation may represent a greater public health hazard than obesity, and their impact has been growing, according to research presented in August 2017 at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

“Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need — crucial to both well-being and survival. Extreme examples show infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die,” said Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, professor of psychology at Brigham Young University.

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