If you think canceling plans is always good self-care, you might want to think again. Peop

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If you think canceling plans is always good self-care, you might want to think again. People who keep an active social calendar not only enjoy a better quality of life—they could also stave off an early trip to the grave.⁠

Loneliness and social isolation were linked to an increased risk of death from any cause, according to new research. That includes missing out on seeing loved ones, not having weekly group activities like a book club, or just often feeling lonely.⁠

A combination of several loneliness factors could be even more harmful, the data suggested. For example, having few family and friend visits was riskier when the person also lived alone. ⁠

The study, published last week in the medical journal BMC Medicine, tracked people for more than a decade and collected loneliness data before the Covid-19 pandemic. It adds to increasing evidence that loneliness can be bad for our health, contributing to health problems including anxiety, heart disease and dementia.⁠

The researchers looked at five measures for loneliness and isolation: often feeling lonely, not being able to confide in a close companion, living alone, how often people visit with friends and family, and weekly group activities. All of them had an impact.⁠

The strongest link was for people who were never visited by family and friends, which was associated with a 39% increase in risk of death during the study period compared with those with daily visits. Those who had at least monthly friend and family visits had a lower risk of dying, the researchers said, but seeing them more often didn’t appear to add an additional benefit.⁠

Read more at the link in our bio.⁠

📷: @jtaggfoto for @wsjphotos



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