Social Isolation Linked to Death, Cancer

A new study led by the American Cancer Association has revealed a link between social isolation and mortality. 580,182 adults were followed from 1982/1983 through 2012 as a part of Cancel Prevention Study-II. Several components of social isolation were studied including marital status, frequency of religious service attendance and club meetings/group activities, and number of close friends and relatives.

Race appeared to be a stronger predictor of social isolation over sex; specifically, white men and women were found to be less isolated than black men and women.

Social isolation scores were positively correlated with cardiovascular disease. Also, there was a positive correlation between social isolation and cancer mortality amongst white men and women, but none for black men or women. The authors referred to a meta-analysis that revealed social isolation was an independent risk factor for death on par with other factors such as inactivity, obesity, and lack of access to healthcare.

Ashley Allen