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Being lonely 'can kill you', research shows

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posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 01:56 AM
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I think that no one wants to be alone,everyone wants to be together with families and friends,but not everybody have the chance to do so .




posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 04:21 AM
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Hmmmm. So if you have a social life that includes roughly 3,500 close friends (and that you keep in contact with daily!) will you live forever?



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 04:23 AM
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Uh oh....my stinky Aunt Edna is screwed.

Do cats count as friends/family?



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 04:30 AM
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Being alone is better than being around annoying people. Personally, I think being around annoying people would shorten your life.

Being alone does not equal being lonely.

Some people like being alone - that is their thing. And if that means they are going to live a shorter life, so what?



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 06:18 AM
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Originally posted by muzzleflash
Everyone eventually dies, regardless of how many people they hang out with.

So it's really an exercise in futility.


In that sense, breathing is an exercise in futility since everyone dies, no matter how many breaths they take.

This is gewd news though. It's time to rid myself of all those that insist on loving me (if that has a shred of credibility with anyone), which is what I thought was killing me.


edit on 9/15/2010 by EnlightenUp because: it was futile; the end was bitter



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 09:39 AM
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This is one of those types of studies that just drive me nuts. People who do not socialize are probably not very physically active. If they were physically active, like out running, skiing, bowling, etc, then they would probably make some friends doing those activities. It’s hard NOT to make friends when you are active physically, even if you are shy. People tend to introduce themselves to other participating in the same activity.

People who are not physically active are obviously people who will be facing more health issues than those who are. This just seems like common sense.

The question then becomes, “Does a person who is lonely AND also physically active on a regular basis likely to die younger?” Certainly there are loners who do very physically demanding things, like walking the Appellation trail from one end to the other. But then again, the person who does that is likely not to be lonely per se’. Most of the people in that boat are people who enjoy being alone and hiking, thus not lonely. This could apply just as well to the loner who loves to do a daily two mile run, etc.

I just don’t think these studies take into account enough variables to make a pronouncement that two things are cause-effect just because they are both coincident with some other factor.

I see these types of coincidental associations made in politics every day. People seem to constantly associate wealth with greed, instead of wealth with success, ambition, or hard work. People associate race as a cause-effect with incarceration statistics instead of looking at socio-economic status and decline of inner-city family values as the root cause, not the color of someone’s skin. On and on, every day, we see many bogus cause-effect conclusions being made just because two things are linked by a common thread.

I will give you this though: I’m of the opinion that the will to live alone will lengthen your life. Who really has a much of a will to live if you are all alone and lonely?



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 10:12 AM
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reply to post by Big Raging Loner
 


Have you ever noticed older married couples, and one of the spouses dies from health issues, whereas the other one has no serious health issues, but within months they are gone too. I would say being lonely killed those ones. Often they just died in there sleep.


edit on 15-9-2010 by Blue_Jay33 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 10:38 AM
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It's better to be alone than in bad company. I think the recession affected alot of people's friendships.
I takes money as well as effort to maintain friendships. People raising kids spend all there time, money,
and efforts raising kids. I feel like friends and family became mean and nasty after the recession hit. Some
times it is best just to stand back remain quite and wait the situation out. Being alone does not equal lonliness,
with computers, books, television, and pets, one is not alone. I am lucky to get to go to the bathroom with out someone needing something. So being alone is a small luxury to me.



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 10:52 AM
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reply to post by Big Raging Loner
 



People who have no social life are fifty per cent more likely to die early than those who are well connected, a study has shown.


To rephrase:

People who have no social life are fifty per cent more likely to live longer than those who are well connected...

Depending on the personality, loneliness can be stressful and so, threaten health and life. We know that. Looks like society may be a 50/50 mix between hermits and butterflies.

So I'm wondering... What's with this push to blame loneliness for shorter lifespans? Why promote social interaction? Is it the attendant conformity that's desirable? ...What?



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 11:24 AM
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After thinking about this some more, I would have to say that the more responsibility someone takes on the less lonely they'll be. Jobs, voulunteer work (horse rescue, animal shelters, all the schools need volunteers constantly, hospitals, nursing homes, church work, fire department, etc...) A person can join clubs, date at e-harmony.com, take classes at local college or other groups, travel with elder hostel programs, rent out a house. Renters will keep you busy and craving alone stress free time. Babysit grandchildren, or other relatives children, or start a daycare. Clean and fix up your residence. Cleaning out closets and drawers when lonely and call a relative and talk. Make luch dates with friends. Go walking on a schedual with a walking buddy. Get as many walking buddies as you can for each day of the week or join a gym. Adopt a child or pet... this is a lifetime serious commitment. The possibilities are endless for filling up lonely hours. I wake up a three o'clock and worry, so I have a list of jobs to do so I keep busy until I get sleepy, so I don't unload on my spouse. Being married can get lonely sometimes, there only so much UFO ideas a spouse might like to hear about before they are just sick of the idea. Ha, Ha! Or you could put the words Nascar or football in that last sentence.



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 02:00 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
reply to post by Big Raging Loner
 



People who have no social life are fifty per cent more likely to die early than those who are well connected, a study has shown.


To rephrase:

People who have no social life are fifty per cent more likely to live longer than those who are well connected...


No, that's not how statistics works :-)

Let's say that the average expected age of death is 70. Die before that, and you're dying "early". Let's say that the odds of dying at 65 are 40% This study shows that a person who lives alone has the odds of dying at 65 of 60% (1/2 again as much.)

There is nothing to say that lonely people will die before 70, and the oldest person in the world could be one who is alone, but statistically (numerical analysis of the aggregate, not individuals,) they are much more likely to not live to that average expected age of death.



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 10:16 PM
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Originally posted by 547000
Isn't that a blessing. If you think life sucks and you die quicker, isn't that a good thing? And the people who enjoy life live longer.


im agrophobic and scared of people, that doesnt mean i wouldnt love to meet people and enjoy my life more.

im obviously gonna die 3.7 years younger but add thaT TO THE FAGS AND DRINK I MIGHT BE GOING NEXT WEEK LOL!!!

woops capitals

people who are truelly lonely, not through choice, tend to have a real serious problem meeting people and it is depressing adds to my depression a lot. we all need someone we just cant all get them!!



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 10:25 PM
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I hate "studies" like this one. They think that they can tell you how long you will/can live, but the fact is no one can predict death. You can be the healthest person in the country but you can still die in a car wreck at age 21.


edit on 15-9-2010 by Ancient Champion because: Typo



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 11:04 PM
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Originally posted by Ancient Champion
I hate "studies" like this one. They think that they can tell you how long you will/can live, but the fact is no one can predict death. You can be the healthest person in the country but you can still die in a car wreck at age 21.


Of course no one can. This is statistics, which is the study of, essentially, averages of groups, and not applicable to individuals. Well, not as far as being absolutely predictive, anyway.

As I said earlier, as a recent widower, I am six times more likely than another male my age of dying in the next few years. That does not mean that I will. I might live to be 100. I might live to be the oldest person on Earth. But, statistically, you are more likely to achieve those things than I am.

How you may apply this sort of thing, and why you shouldn't "hate" studies like this, is by using it as a factor in moving those odds in your favour, if you are interested in longevity. Statistical studies, if they are done in an accurate fashion, can be an unbiased and valuable influence in our decision making.

Many people have quit smoking because statistical studies have shown that smokers die younger than nonsmokers. It is difficult to show absolute causality, but the statistics make that need unnecessary. Similarly, we may not know why people who are less social die earlier than others, but if the statistics are valid, then the reasons aren't very important if one is interested in longevity.


edit on 15-9-2010 by adjensen because: that != than



posted on Sep, 16 2010 @ 08:15 AM
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3.7 years? Having an active social calendar isn't exactly the elixir of life is it!



posted on Sep, 16 2010 @ 08:46 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen

Originally posted by soficrow
reply to post by Big Raging Loner
 



People who have no social life are fifty per cent more likely to die early than those who are well connected, a study has shown.


To rephrase:

People who have no social life are fifty per cent more likely to live longer than those who are well connected...


No, that's not how statistics works :-)


lol

In my experience, statistics work the way they're designed to work.

And my questions stand - What's with this push to blame loneliness for shorter lifespans? Why promote social interaction? Is it the attendant conformity that's desirable? ...What?


...There is nothing to say that lonely people will die before 70, and the oldest person in the world could be one who is alone, but statistically (numerical analysis of the aggregate, not individuals,) they are much more likely to not live to that average expected age of death.


a. "Alone" is NOT synonymous with "lonely."
b. Statistically, people who are "left alone" due to a spouse's death or a divorce for example, are much more likely to feel "lonely" than those who chose the path from the get-go - thus skewing the statistical results.



posted on Sep, 16 2010 @ 09:24 AM
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Originally posted by soficrow
In my experience, statistics work the way they're designed to work.


Depends on the honesty of the person doing the study, as I said. But, barring a reason to assume bias, it should be assumed that the statistics are verifiable and do indicate something worth noting.

From the original article, this was done by a Professor of Psychology at the University of Utah, and a quick read of his bio page at said university (www.psych.utah.edu/bertnuchino) indicates that it was done under the auspices of grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Aging, and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which doesn't sound too suspicious.

As for the data:


Researchers analysed data from 148 studies over three decades and involving more than 300,000 people.


Which looks like a reasonably large sample size.


And my questions stand - What's with this push to blame loneliness for shorter lifespans? Why promote social interaction? Is it the attendant conformity that's desirable? ...What?


One thing I learned from my time teaching at university is that if you're not researching and writing grants, you'll see the door before too long. "Publish or Perish". So, if you're looking for an ulterior motive, it might be Dr. Uchino's need to keep his job, lol.

Beyond that, why does there have to be some nefarious purpose to this sort of thing? We're a social species, so it stands to reason that there is some benefit to hanging around other people. The study doesn't say what that is (I assume that Uchino is holding that back until he needs his next paper :-) but it doesn't have to -- as a statistical study, all it needs to do is run and report the numbers.

As I said, this is just something for you to file away if you are interested in longevity. It has no predictive value for you, as an individual, but you'll improve your odds of living longer by taking it into account. Those odds mean nothing to you, as an individual, because you could get hit by a bus tomorrow, but in the aggregate (across all people lumped into the same group as you,) they are absolutely predictive.

That, I imagine, is where most people get angry about these sorts of things -- the fitness guru who dies of a heart attack at 50, or the chain smoker who lives to be 100 and swears by the power of eating red meat, but these are the aberrations, which is why you know about them... fitness gurus will outlive chain smokers, in the aggregate, by many, many years, but that's not as interesting as the goofballs who buck the trend.



posted on Sep, 16 2010 @ 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen

Originally posted by soficrow
In my experience, statistics work the way they're designed to work.


Depends on the honesty of the person doing the study, as I said. But, barring a reason to assume bias


I DO assume bias.


(the study) was done under the auspices of grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Aging, and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which doesn't sound too suspicious.




LOTS of bias there - notably a commitment to "blame the victims," rather than admit to infectious components with a broad range of environmental triggers for pandemic chronic disease - by far the most frequent cause-of-death in our 'new age.'




As for the data:


Researchers analysed data from 148 studies over three decades and involving more than 300,000 people.


Which looks like a reasonably large sample size.


It's a meta-analysis of studies that narrowed the environmental focus of disease-causation to include only one single factor - a patient-controlled "lifestyle" factor. Thus enabling the "blame the victims" argument.



...why does there have to be some nefarious purpose to this sort of thing?


If the other factors contributing to chronic disease and early death are investigated, a huge number of corporations in the medical, agricultural, food, chemical and other industries will be found liable.

It's about money. About protecting profit and the corporate coffers. It always is.


... fitness gurus will outlive chain smokers, in the aggregate, by many, many years, but that's not as interesting as the goofballs who buck the trend.


Not any more. There IS a chronic disease pandemic. Chronic disease DOES have infectious components. Our food supply IS contaminated, from production through to processing, as are our "personal hygiene products." Our exposures to chemicals via food, medications, personal hygiene products and environmental contaminations DO trigger the underlying infectious disease process.

NO ONE is immune. Not even fitness gurus, non-smokers, happily married couples and social butterflies.

Which is not to say that we don't have some power to improve our own lot and take preventive health measures.

But there is a WORLD of difference between "personal empowerment" and "blaming the victims."



posted on Sep, 16 2010 @ 12:13 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow

Originally posted by adjensen
(the study) was done under the auspices of grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Aging, and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which doesn't sound too suspicious.




LOTS of bias there - notably a commitment to "blame the victims," rather than admit to infectious components with a broad range of environmental triggers for pandemic chronic disease - by far the most frequent cause-of-death in our 'new age.'


That doesn't even make sense. This isn't about "cause of death", it's about a statistical anomaly that points to a factor in early death that previously was unknown. WHAT kills people is irrelevant, and if there was some sort of mystery disease that kills people across the board, this study would show no difference between the two groups. Heck, if it was contagious, the loners would live longer because they'd be less likely to contract it.

You have a bias to see some sort of conspiracy because this study says something you don't like, and doesn't say something you think it should. In the first part, go ahead and argue with statistics, but my money's on the stats, and in the second, the study isn't concerned with causality, so why would it reveal some mysterious disease?

Don't get me wrong -- I don't entirely disagree with your concern. But it's fallacy to presume that this study says anything other than "social beings do better when they are around other social beings", which makes the author something of a Captain Obvious, if you ask me. I can't imagine the opposite conclusion being drawn.


edit on 16-9-2010 by adjensen because: repair tags



posted on Sep, 16 2010 @ 01:13 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen
Don't get me wrong -- I don't entirely disagree with your concern. But it's fallacy to presume that this study says anything other than "social beings do better when they are around other social beings", which makes the author something of a Captain Obvious, if you ask me. I can't imagine the opposite conclusion being drawn.


Glad to hear it - and I don't disagree with much of what you say either.

But I don't think it's a fallacy to presume that there are reasons other than the superficial/stated ones that underlie directions and trends. ...Granted, topic trends reflect funding trends, which reflect funder bias.



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