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Who is at risk and why

Adults :: Social Isolation :: Who is at risk and why

Loneliness and social isolation can have a considerable impact on the health and wellbeing of an individual. Loneliness is associated with a range of negative health outcomes including mortality, dementia, high blood pressure, increased stress levels and suppression of the immune system .[1] Research has shown that people with stronger social relationships have a 50% increased likelihood of survival than those with weaker social relationships. This difference on survival is comparable with well-established risk factors for mortality such as smoking, obesity and physical inactivity.[1]

There are a number of population groups that have an increased vulnerability to social isolation. Older people are significantly more likely to suffer from social isolation with contributing factors being “loss of friends and family, loss of mobility or loss of income”. Other population groups at risk include, carers, refugees and those with mental health problems.[2]


[1]   Holt-Lunstead ST, Layton J. Social relationships and mortality risk: a meta-analytic review PLoS Medicine 2010; 7 (7): doi:10.1371/journal.pmed. 1000316.
[2]   for Excellence SCI. Research Briefing 39. Preventing Loneliness and Social Isolation: Interventions and Outcomes. 2011;