Friday February 22, 2019

Loneliness Can Worsen Mental Health And Can Double The Risk Of Dying

People with poor social support may have worse health

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Loneliness Can Worsen Mental Health And Can Double The Risk Of Dying
Negative experiences on Facebook will make you lonely. Pixabay

Men and women who “feel lonely” are more likely to have worse mental health, heart disease conditions and die early than those “living alone”, according to a study.

The findings showed that loneliness was associated with a doubled mortality risk in women and nearly doubled risk in men.

Both men and women who felt lonely were three times more likely to report symptoms of anxiety and depression, and had a significantly lower quality of life than those who did not feel lonely.

“Loneliness is a strong predictor of premature death, worse mental health, and lower quality of life in patients with cardiovascular disease, and a much stronger predictor than living alone, in both men and women,” said Anne Vinggaard Christensen, doctoral student, at the Copenhagen University Hospital.

The results were presented at the annual nursing congress EuroHeartCare 2018 in Dublin.

The study investigated whether poor social network was associated with worse outcomes in 13,463 patients with ischaemic heart disease, arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm), heart failure, or heart valve disease.

Feeling lonely was associated with poor outcomes in all patients regardless of their type of heart disease, and even after adjusting for age, level of education, other diseases, body mass index, smoking, and alcohol intake.

People with poor social support may have worse health outcomes because they have unhealthier lifestyles, are less compliant with treatment, and are more affected by stressful events.

A mental patient
A mental patient, flickr

But, when “we adjusted for lifestyle behaviours and many other factors in our analysis, we still found that loneliness is bad for health,” Christensen said.

According to European guidelines on cardiovascular prevention, people who are isolated or disconnected from others are at increased risk of developing and dying prematurely from coronary artery disease.

Also read: Raw fruits veggies consumption boosts mental health

The guidelines recommend assessment of psychosocial risk factors in patients with established cardiovascular disease and those at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease. (IANS)

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People Around You Influence Your Body Image

Body dissatisfaction is ubiquitous and can take a huge toll on our mood, self-esteem, relationships and even the activities we pursue. 

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People Around You Influence Your Body Image . Pixabay

Are you surrounded by people who are not that body conscious? Then there is good news for you as a new study suggests spending time with people who are not preoccupied with their bodies can improve your own eating habits and body image.

In this study, examining how social interactions influence body image, researchers found that in addition to the previous findings that being around people preoccupied with their body image was detrimental, spending time with people who were non-body focused had a positive impact.

Non-body focused people are those who are not preoccupied with their body weight or shape or appearance.

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Youth who resembled one another were more likely to remain friends from one year to the next. Pixabay

“Our research suggests that social context has a meaningful impact on how we feel about our bodies in general and on a given day. Specifically, when others around us are not focused on their body it can be helpful to our own body image,” said Kathryn Miller, postdoctoral student at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

For the study, the team involved nearly 100 female undergraduate students aged 17 to 25.

They measured the participants’ frequency of daily interactions with body focused and non-body focused people, their degree of body appreciation (how much one values their body regardless of its size or shape), and body satisfaction, and whether they ate intuitively in alignment with their hunger and cravings rather than fixating on their dietary and weight goals.

The findings, published in the journal Body Image, showed that body dissatisfaction is ubiquitous and can take a huge toll on our mood, self-esteem, relationships and even the activities we pursue.

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If more women try to focus less on their weight or shape, there may be a ripple effect shifting societal norms for women’s body image in a positive direction . Pixabay

“It’s important to realise that the people we spend time with actually influence our body image. If we are able to spend more time with people who are not preoccupied with their bodies, we can actually feel much better about our own bodies,” said Allison Kelly, Professor at the varsity.

Also Read: Here are Some Food Tips That Can Change Your Hair Health

In addition, they also found that spending more time with non-body focused individuals may be advantageous in protecting against disordered eating and promoting more intuitive eating.

“If more women try to focus less on their weight or shape, there may be a ripple effect shifting societal norms for women’s body image in a positive direction. It’s also important for women to know that they have an opportunity to positively impact those around them through how they relate to their own bodies,” Miller suggested. (IANS)