Research shows that social isolation and loneliness are important risk factors for cardiovascular disease, but less is known about their specific relationship with heart failure. JACC: heart failure Both social isolation and loneliness have been shown to be associated with higher rates of heart failure, but whether a person feels lonely is more important in determining risk than whether a person is actually alone. It is important.
Social disconnection can be categorized into two distinct but connected components. “Social isolation” refers to being objectively isolated or having infrequent social connections, while “loneliness” refers to someone’s actual level of social interaction being lower than they would like. is defined as pain induced by low
For this study, researchers looked at data from a UK Biobank study. This study tracked the health status of the population over 12 years and assessed psychosocial factors such as social isolation and loneliness through self-reported questionnaires. Researchers examined health outcomes in a population of over 400,000 middle-aged and older adults. Previous studies were inconclusive, had inconsistent results, and used different measures to assess social isolation and loneliness, said researchers at the Guangzhou Medical University in Guangzhou, China. said Jihui Zhang, MD, PhD, senior author of the study.
The researchers found that both social isolation and loneliness increased the risk of hospitalization or death from heart failure by 15% to 20%. In other words, if a person is socially isolated and feels lonely, loneliness is more important. increased. Loneliness and social isolation were more common in men and were also associated with adverse health effects and status, such as tobacco use and obesity.
One reason for these findings, Zhang said, may be that people can feel lonely even when they’re forming relationships and interacting with others.
These findings indicate that subjective effects of loneliness are more important than objective effects of social isolation. These results suggest that social isolation is no longer important in the context of heart failure when loneliness is present. Because loneliness is common in individuals who have hostile or stressful social relationships, loneliness is likely to be a stronger psychological stressor than social isolation.
Jihui Zhang, MD, PhD, Researcher, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China
Zhang said the study highlights the need for effective tools to screen for social isolation and loneliness in routine clinical care and the need for a broader push to provide more social support. It also shows the importance of distinguishing between these two factors.
“We will pay more attention to those who feel lonely in the intervention,” he said.
He said the findings are particularly important because the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the impact of social isolation and loneliness on a wide range of health outcomes.
In a related editorial, Sarah J. Goodlin, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher in Patient-Centered Education and Research, and Sheldon Gottlieb, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, argue that social isolation and loneliness are Socioeconomic status.
Goodlin and Gottlieb argue that “the relationship between social isolation and loneliness is probably strongest in people at the extremes of social isolation and loneliness, exacerbated by their lower socioeconomic status.” As factors are increasingly recognized as important components of patient-centred health care, it may be appropriate to incorporate specific interventions into care, such as ‘social prescribing’.”
For future research, the researchers plan to investigate the effects of social isolation and loneliness on key health outcomes in vulnerable populations, including people with type 2 diabetes, and find out that social isolation and loneliness affect the heart and mind. We are also working on experimental studies to better understand the mechanisms that affect vascular health.
Beam, YY, and others. (2023) Association between social isolation and loneliness and heart failure in a population-based cohort study. JACC heart failure. doi.org/10.1016/j.jchf.2022.11.028.