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Why are lonely and isolated people more likely to be unhealthy?

Lots of research has shown that a person's health-related behaviors are closely tied to the health-related behaviors of those they know. Health information about such things as good nutrition, exercise, and opinions about healthcare professionals are often discussed among those in social groups. Someone who is isolated from others can not benefit from this information sharing. Feeling lonely can also have the effect of causing feelings of depression and low self-worth. These feelings have been shown to contribute to people not eating well, not seeing their doctor, and generally not taking care of themselves. Conversely, when people who are lonely and isolated are able to become involved with caring communities, and are able to address any emotional issues, then there is likely to be an improvement in overall health.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.