According to the study, published online in the journal Cancer, loneliness may sabotage long-term breast cancer survival. Researchers found that women who didn’t have strong social ties were more likely to have their cancer return or die from it compared to the women with the strong social network.
Having reviewed on nearly 10,000 breast cancer patients, the researchers linked isolation with 40% higher risk of cancer recurrence in women without social support. They also found that lonely women had a 60% higher risk of dying from breast cancer and 70% higher risk of dying from any cause.
Kassandra Alcaraz, strategic equity research at the American Cancer Society, says: “Having social ties may provide access to real assistance, like having someone to take you to the doctor or having someone to talk to you about your concerns or connecting you with the resources that can help you cope with cancer.”
A new study finds that feeling lonely could be the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease in senior people.
Seniors with high brain levels of amyloid, a type of protein fragment linked to Alzheimer’s, are more likely to feel lonely than people with lower levels of this protein fragments according to the research.
Dr. Nancy Donovan, a lead researcher and a director of the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, says: “For people who have high levels of amyloid – the people truly at risk for Alzheimer’s – they were 7.5 times more likely to be lonely than non-lonely.”
For many years, scientists have been trying to understand why loneliness affects some people more than others. And these days the team of researchers from the University of California San Diego seems to have an answer. They conducted the largest DNA-based research on solitude.
They suggest that our environment is one of the most powerful influences on our feelings. Also, they found that certain genes make some people more alert to social relations, triggering depression when they feel neglected.
Feeling of solitude may raise the person’s probability of leading an unhealthy lifestyle, affecting their physical and mental health.
According to a large Australian study, a feeling of loneliness may lead to such mental health issues as depression, social anxiety, and paranoia.
The study, which followed more than 1,000 people over the period of 6 months, also discovered that people suffering from social anxiety were more likely to be lonely in the future.
It’s important to understand that correlation doesn’t equal causation and there could be other factors. Though, the researchers hope that their research will encourage further studies of the way some mental health issues and a feeling lonely could be connected.
A lead researcher Michelle Lim from Swinburne University of Technology said: “…The unpleasant feelings of being lonely are subjective; researchers have found loneliness is not about the amount of time one spends with other people or alone. It is related more to the quality of relationships, rather than quantity.”