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Social isolation, loneliness increase risk of fatal heart attack

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Social isolation, loneliness increase risk of fatal heart attack

Washington, Aug 15 (Prensa Latina) Social isolation and loneliness are closely associated with around a 30% increased risk of heart attack or stroke, or even death from either, a specialized source reported, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association, published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
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Isolation and loneliness are associated with elevated inflammatory markers, and individuals who were less socially connected were more likely to experience physiological symptoms of chronic stress.

Experts argued that depression can lead to social isolation, and vice versa.

In assessing risk factors for social isolation, the relationship between social isolation and its risk factors goes both ways: depression may lead to social isolation, and social isolation may increase the likelihood of experiencing depression.

Social isolation during childhood is associated with increased cardiovascular risk factors in adulthood, such as obesity, high blood pressure and increased blood glucose levels.

People with heart disease who were socially isolated had a two- to three-fold increase in death during a six-year follow-up study. Socially isolated adults with three or fewer social contacts per month may have a 40% increased risk of recurrent stroke or heart attack. In addition, 5-year heart failure survival rates were lower (60%) for people who were socially isolated, and for those who are both socially isolated and clinical depressed (62%), compared to those who have more social contacts and are not depressed (79%).

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