Because according to research recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, living alone gets you killed faster. And I thought it was the other way around !
Conclusion Among participants who were older than 60 years, loneliness was a predictor of functional decline and death.
This was a prospective study over 6 years with around 2000 participants selected from a larger pool of people from a more global health project. Ewww. I don’t think I like their results ! The theory is that psychosocial distress, caused by loneliness and the suffering associated with it, contributes to cardiovascular disease and/or adverse health outcomes. Now, I had one problem with this study, and that is that there are people out there who don’t view loneliness as a problem, and who wouldn’t have it any other way, who would be more distressed living with someone, so what about their health outcomes ? The study actually recognizes this, and gives this definition :
Loneliness can be explained as the discrepancy between one’s desired relationships and one’s actual relationships.
Fair enough, that pretty much covers most scenarios I guess. Anything from being unhappily married to being chronically single. Although, it would also seem to cover the loneliness one might feel from not being an item with Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Claudia Schiffer or anyone else you desire and can’t have.
As far as I can see, the only thing that we can take home from this study is that having a low loneliness score once you are over 60 years of age may be beneficial for your health, be that from happily being in a relationship, or from being joyfully single.