PARIS, France (AFP) – Feeling alone contributes less to the risk of cardiovascular disease than recent research suggests, scientists said recently, but social isolation actually makes up for the chances of dying after a heart attack or accident cerebrovascular.
The supposed link between loneliness and heart disease disappears essentially once other well-known risk factors (smoking, drinking, poor diet, lack of exercise) are taken into account, according to a study that monitored almost 480,000 men and women in Britain for seven years. 19659003] Similarly, the supposed impact of feeling friendless in premature death.
But even after taking into account unreliable life habits, social isolation – time actually spent alone – increased the risk of dying in a 30% stroke or heart attack, according to the study, published in Heart, a medical journal.
"Social isolation, but not loneliness … remained an independent risk factor for death" The researchers, led by Christian Hakulinen, a professor at the University of Helsinki, concluded.
Previous efforts to unravel the influence of a solitary existence on cardiovascular disease and heart-related mortality had produced mixed results, in part because of the relatively small number of people covered.
For the new study, Hakulinen and his team relied on the so-called Biobank cohort, in which 479,054 people aged 40 to 69 were supervised for seven years.
"The best of our knowledge, our study is the largest on the subject," they wrote.
Participants provided detailed information on their ethnic origin, educational level, income and lifestyle, as well as any history of depression.
They were also asked to measure their levels of loneliness-a subjective feeling-and social isolation, which measures the amount of time they spend alone or in the company of others.
Almost 10% of respondents rated as isolated, six percent as solitary, and one percent were both.
Researchers verified these personal data with people who suffered strokes or strokes for the first time, as well as those who died.
But once the lifestyle habits that ruin health were accounted for, only the link with social isolation remained.
Previous research has shown that people who live alone die younger, succumb more quickly when they have cancer, and are generally in poorer health.  A study last November that covered more than 800,000 people from a dozen nations discovered that walking alone through life also increases the chances of dementia by approximately 40 percent.
Being a widower after a prolonged cohabitation also took a toll, driving the Probabilities of mental slip by approximately 20 percent.