Social isolation also tied to increased risk of premature death
Loneliness may be a greater public health hazard than obesity, according to a study which found that social isolation may put people at an increased risk of early death. "Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need -crucial to both well-being and survival," said Julianne Holt-Lunstad, professor at Brigham Young University in the United States.
"Extreme examples show infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die, and indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment," said Holt-Lunstad. "Yet an increasing portion of the American population now experiences isolation regularly," she said.