Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Loneliness Kills!   Which puts a dent in your sex life!

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Loneliness Kills!   Which puts a dent in your sex life!

 

Loneliness is a public health risk in the U.S.

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Research confirms that emotional isolation ranks as high as smoking when it comes to risk factors that can shorten your life.

This does not mean we are a nation of emotionally immature adults who need to be coddled.

On the contrary . . .

According to longevity expert Dr. Gary Small, our need for intimacy and socialization is hardwired into our brain. This makes the quantity and quality of your social connections crucial to your ability to enjoy a long life.DrSmall-brains.png

 

Long-Lasting Loneliness Doesn’t Just Make

You Sick — It Can Actually Kill You

 

John Cacioppo is a leading psychologist specializing in the study of loneliness. He reports that loneliness not only speeds up death in sick people, but also makes healthy people sick by putting them into a stressful fight-or-flight mode.

You might think that being lonely simply means you are depressed. To be clear, while loneliness can be a symptom of depression, they are not the same thing.

So what does “loneliness” really mean?

Well, experts in the field say loneliness is the state of being socially isolated and deprived of intimacy.

And now, researchers have linked chronic loneliness to numerous physical ailments.

 

Loneliness Is a Public Health Risk for Our Nation’s Seniors

As you might imagine, loneliness is a huge problem for America’s older population.

That’s because seniors so often lose connections with relatives, spouses, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

I’m sure you’ve seen this happen in your own life as you grow older.

Statistics tell us women are lonelier than men, and the retired are lonelier than the employed.

An AARP loneliness study surveyed 3,012 Americans age 45 and older. They found that:

35% of adults 45 and up are lonely.

This means over 42.6 million older adult Americans suffer from chronic loneliness.

Those in poor health are more likely to be lonely.

Those with lower incomes are more likely to be lonely.

 

A Healthy Sex Life Increases Life Expectancy

As you’ll see in special reports, researchers have found that sexual activity causes the release of endorphins and other hormones. This results in additional relaxation and more restful sleep, which boosts brain health.

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A healthy sex life not only improves mood — it also raises life expectancy.

 

One 10-year British longitudinal study found significantly lower mortality rates in men who had more frequent sexual relations.

 

Sexual feelings lead to the release of DHEA, a hormone that gradually declines after age 30. This hormone bolsters cardiac health, which could explain why more frequent sexual activity results in a longer lifespan.

 

And for those who are not currently sexually active, Dr. Small shares that simple physical expressions such as hugging can improve your brain and body health, and even reduce blood pressure.

 

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Loneliness and Breast Cancer Survival

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Loneliness May Sabotage Breast Cancer Survival

 

Loneliness may impede long-term breast cancer survival; a new study suggests.

 

In the years after treatment, women who don’t have strong social ties are more likely to have their cancer return or die from it than women with friends and a support network, the researchers found.

 

Reviewing data on nearly 10,000 breast cancer patients, the researchers linked isolation with a 40 percent higher risk of cancer recurrence compared to socially connected women.

 

These solitary women also had a 60 percent increased risk of dying from breast cancer and a 70 percent increased risk of dying from any cause, the study found.

 

The results weren’t unexpected, the researchers said.

 

“It is well established that women generally and those with breast cancer with greater social ties have a lower risk of death overall,” said lead researcher Candyce Kroenke. She’s with Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.

 

People are social animals, said Kassandra Alcaraz, strategic director for health equity research at the American Cancer Society.

 

“We were not meant to be isolated, so the benefits we get from relationships with others and being part of a community are not surprising,” she said. “We know that social relationships are important to general health and well-being.”

 

Exactly why this is so isn’t entirely clear, Alcaraz said. “Having social ties may provide access to real assistance, like having someone to take you to the doctor or having someone to talk to about your concerns or connecting you with resources that can help you cope with the cancer,” she said.

 

Also, social well-being is correlated with physical well-being, Alcaraz added. Having connections to others helps reduce stress and depression and thus leads to better health outcomes, she said.

 

“We need to think of health in a more expansive way. Social influences can be just as important as other risk factors, such as obesity and smoking,” Alcaraz said.

 

Kroencke and her colleagues agreed, saying doctors should consider a woman’s social supports when making predictions for her recovery.

 

For this study, the researchers looked at a woman’s social connections in the two years after her breast cancer diagnosis to see how having friends, a spouse, relatives or community ties might affect her survival.

 

The report was published online Dec. 12 in the journal Cancer.

 

Data was collected on just over 9,000 women. Over an average follow-up of 11 years, more than 1,400 cancers returned. Also, more than 1,500 women died, nearly 1,000 from breast cancer, the researchers found.

 

The links between social connections and prognosis were strongest among women with earlier stage cancer, the researchers said.

 

Also, specific associations differed by age, race, ethnicity and country, Kroenke said.

 

For example, ties to relatives and friends predicted lower breast cancer deaths for nonwhite women. And marriage predicted lower breast cancer deaths only among older white women.

 

In addition, community ties predicted better outcomes in older white and Asian women.

 

“Our findings demonstrate the generally beneficial influence of women’s social ties on breast cancer outcomes, including recurrence and breast cancer death,” Kroenke said.

 

The results don’t mean that loners are doomed to an early death, nor do they show a direct cause-and-effect relationship between isolation and worse survival.

 

Still, it’s important for doctors and other health care workers to help patients connect with support groups and other programs so they won’t remain socially isolated, Alcaraz said.

 

“Social ties have positive health benefits, and social isolation is detrimental to health,” she said. “And it is not unique to breast cancer or to cancer for that matter.”

 

Please share with family and loved ones.

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