Loneliness can double death risk in old age
Loneliness can shorten your life, a new study has shown.
Scientists in the US found that "feeling lonely" almost doubled the risk of dying in a population of 1,600.
Loneliness was also associated with functional decline and a reduction in day-to-day activities.
Participants in the study, who had an average age of 71, were asked if they felt "left out", isolated or lacking in companionship.
Around 43pc met the researchers' definition of loneliness: experiencing one of these states at least some of the time.
The authors, from the University of California, wrote in the online journal Archives of Internal Medicine: "Loneliness is a common source of suffering in older persons.
"We demonstrate that it is also a risk factor for poor health outcomes."
A separate US study in the same journal found a link between living alone and an increased risk of death from heart disease among people at risk of blood clots.