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Loneliness Is More Dangerous Than Smoking 15 Cigarettes A Day

Loneliness increases the risk of premature death by approximately 26%, which is comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and more dangerous than obesity, lack of physical activity, and air pollution.[i] The impact of loneliness and social isolation on the risk of dying early is consistent across genders, age groups, and initial health status.

Social isolation and loneliness were linked to worse cardiovascular and mental health outcomes in forty different studies,[ii] and social isolation causes a 32% increase in the risk of stroke and a 29% increase in the risk of heart disease.[iii]

Many people experienced social isolation and loneliness during the pandemic. Cigna conducted a survey of Americans in 2019 indicating that the rate of loneliness increased to 61%[iv] compared to 47% in 2018.[v] All age groups experienced loneliness, but people under 50 years old were the highest. In 2019, 79% of Generation Z and 71% of Millennials reported being lonely

The good news is that social connection lowers the risk of premature death.[i] Here are some tips to enhance social connections: