A review of 23 papers and 181,006 total patients, in April 18 edition of the journal 'Heart' has shown a 29% increased risk for incident coronary heart disease (CHD) and 32% increased risk for stroke for people with loneliness and social isolation.
Loneliness often contributes to impaired coping methods, isolation affects self-efficacy, and both have been associated with decreased physical activity and increased smoking.
The pooled relative risk (RR) for incident CHD was 1.29 for the participants who reported having high loneliness or social isolation scores vs those with low scores (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.0 - 1.6). There were no significant differences between those who reported just loneliness and those who reported just social isolation.
The study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research, Research Trainees Coordinating Center.