Loneliness: Major Cause Of Death In Cardiac Patients

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While men who are alone were twice more likely to die compared to the one who isn’t lonely; women who are alone had around three times higher risk of death compared to the ones who aren’t lonely.


A new study by heart specialists has stated that patients who have suffered cardiac arrest and feel lonely have more chances of dying after getting discharged from the hospital. Loneliness should be taken into consideration and be considered as a legitimate health risk in people who suffer a serious illness.

Earlier, one of the top cardiac surgeons in Mumbai, in an interview had said that loneliness, as well as lack of social support, is related to a heightened risk of developing and dying from coronary artery disease. But it’s not sure if other types of heart diseases can also be influenced by emotions of loneliness, and also if living by yourself might be as same as feeling lonely.


To get more information on this subject, the cardiologists studied the one-year health reports of the patients who were admitted to the respective heart centers either having heart transplant surgery, bypass surgery, aortic aneurysm surgery, heart failure or valve disease as well as abnormal heart rhythm for the course of whole one year. There were around 70% men with an average age of 66. On discharge from the heart center around 54 percent of the total cardiac patients filled up the validated questionnaires on their psychological wellbeing, physical health and quality of life, their levels of anxiety and depression.

Furthermore, the cardiac patients were also asked about their health behaviors, like drinking, smoking and the number of times they have taken or missed their prescribed medicines. The heart surgeons then studied the national data to know if they lived alone or with someone. There were three times more patients who lived alone said they felt anxious and depressed as compared to the ones who stayed with someone.

One year later, researchers checked national registry data to see what had happened to the patients’ cardiac health, as well as how many of them had died. They found that irrespective of the diagnosis, loneliness was associated with significantly poorer physical health after a year.

The main actual differences in risk between the patients who felt lonely and the ones who didn’t suggest that health-related behaviors and underlying situations can’t in detail explain the associations found, said these top cardiac surgeons. Even though living alone is not related to feeling lonely, it is related to a lower risk of anxiety/depression as compared to those who lived with someone. And it was associated with an increased 39 % risk of poor cardiac health in men


The previous research shows that women have high social networks as compared to men, thus divorce or death of a partner can be disadvantageous for men more.


“Nevertheless, these findings are in line with earlier research, signifying that loneliness is related to alteration in cardiovascular, neuroendocrine and immune function as well as unhealthy lifestyle preference which affects negative health outcomes.


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