The Physical Toll of Loneliness
May 15, 2010
Loneliness doesn't just affect your mind; it can also cause problems with your blood pressure.
Researchers gave a survey to close to 230 people aged 50 to 68. They were asked to rate their feelings about statements such as, "I lack companionship" and "My social relationships are superficial."
The participants were then monitored for five years. The Los Angeles Times reports that:
“Researchers noted an association between feelings of loneliness and high blood pressure.
People who ranked as feeling most lonely had blood pressure levels 14.4 points higher than those who felt least lonely. Increases in systolic blood pressure were cumulative, so those who had higher levels of loneliness at the beginning of the study had greater blood pressure increases over the years.”