Social Isolation Kills, But How and Why?

Social isolation has been shown repeatedly to prospectively predict mortality and serious morbidity both in general population samples, and in individuals with established morbidity especially coronary heart disease. The magnitude of risk associated with social isolation is comparable with that of cigarette smoking and other major biomedical and psychosocial risk factors.

However, our understanding of how and why social isolation is risky for health—or conversely—how and why social ties and relationships are protective of health, still remains quite limited.

Psychosomatic Medicine, Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine Official Journal of the America Psychosomatic Society.