Loneliness doesn’t only cause psychiatric problems like depression. It can also cause physical problems:
- Loneliness is a good indicator for predicting if people are likely to visit the emergency room in the hospital. This is the result of a study done among 164 visitors of the emergency room of the Lawrence General Hospital, Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1999. The number of visits were much higher among people who felt lonely.
- Lack of emotional support leads to a greater risk for heart problems. A study done at the Swedish Halmstadt University showed this.
- In people over 50, loneliness can lead to a significant increase in blood pressure. Sometimes even up to 30 points. This was the result of a study at the University of Chicago. This is a quarter of the ideal blood pressure of a 120!
- And another study done among doctors by the University of Chicago showed another remarkable find. Doctors say they give lesser quality medical care to lonely patients than to patients who have a good network of family and friends.
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