Social isolation shortens the life of the elderly regardless of the test they have feelings of loneliness. However, the removal of the insulation may be more useful than trying to improve the emotional state of the elderly. This is the conclusion reached by researchers from University College London. Data published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
In earlier studies, researchers found that loneliness and reduce contact with others deteriorate substantially health and lead to increased mortality of older people. However, until now it was unclear whether these factors are independent or are the "channel" through which complete social isolation negatively affects health.
Jane Wardle (Jane Wardle) and her band performed an analysis of data on 65 thousand men and women aged 52 years and older who participated in 2004-2005 in the second wave of large-scale study of aging ELSA (English Longitudinal Study of Ageing). Scientists have been set "index of social exclusion" of each of them, based on information about how often participants in touch with their relatives and friends. Volunteers are also needed to fill out a form with which scientists determined the extent of their feelings of loneliness.
Thus, the analysis of the data revealed that the increased mortality associated with both the - in the group with high levels of social exclusion during the preparation of the study died of 21.9% (low - 12.3%), whereas in the group with high levels of Solitude 19.2% (vs. 13%). "According to our survey, the subjective feeling of loneliness is not the primary mechanism that binds the excess mortality from social exclusion" - the article says.
"To improve the quality of life necessary to reduce social isolation and loneliness, but efforts to overcome isolation, may be more effective in terms of mortality," - noted in the conclusion of scientists.