According to an article in Psychology Today, 25% of Americans have no meaningful social support at all, and over half of all Americans report having no close confidants or friends outside their immediate family.
According to Dr. Dean Ornish’s book, Love and Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy:
In 1985, Dr. Berkman at California Department of Health Services studied 7,000 men and women living in Almedia County.
- Those who lacked social and community ties were 1.9 to 3.1 times more likely to die during nine year follow-up period independent of age, gender, race, SES, smoking, alcoholic beverage consumption, overeating, physical activity and utilization of preventative health services.
- Those who lived longest had close social ties and healthful behaviors
- In additional 8 year follow-up: those who were socially isolated or who just felt isolated had higher risk of dying of cancer
Circulation, a publication of the American Heart Association, also reported a connection between low social support (SS) and heart attack reoccurrence:
- Our findings associating low SS with worse health status and more depressive symptoms are consistent with previous studies in cardiac populations.