Tired of being lonely? A new study published by researchers in England shows that physically, a person’s heart could be, too.
While scientists admit that their findings were observational and not did establish cause and effect, it was found that individuals who had decreased social interactions in their life also had a substantial increase in their risk of developing significant health problems.
Researchers out of the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York, in Heslington, England, dove into records of previous studies and searched sixteen electronic databases to come up with their results.
Scientists analyzed studies centered around social interaction and heart health that were completed in high-income countries and published up until May 2015.
And what they found might give you pause.
Researchers established that people with poor social relationships were associated with having a 29% increase in risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD) and a 32% increase in their risk of having a stroke, when compared with those who led a more active social life.
While the findings are not conclusive, they do add credence to the common belief that humans can actually die of a broken heart.
How? Heart.org states that ‘broken heart syndrome’, also referred to as ‘stress-induced cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy’, can strike any individual, even if they are considered to be otherwise healthy.
The syndrome involves sudden, intense chest pain that results as they body reacts to a rush of hormones released in connected with an emotionally stressful event.
Broken heart syndrome doesn’t involve blocked arteries but rather part of the heart enlarges and doesn’t pump well, while the rest of the heart continues to function normally or with more forceful contractions. But the results can resemble a heart attack.
The good news is: it’s usually treatable. As is loneliness, albeit sometimes that’s a more difficult situation to change. It all starts in small steps.
Smile at your neighbor- in this new, digital world, it could be that they are just as lonely as you.
But not for long…