Loneliness or social isolation linked to serious health outcomes, study finds

Melancholy woman resting at the terrace
Experiencing loneliness or social isolation has been linked with a higher risk of premature death, research has found. martin-dm/E+/Getty Images



If you’re lonely or socially isolated, you might have a higher risk of early death, according to a large study.

There have been many studies on the associations between social isolation, loneliness and the risk of dying early, but some results have been controversial or mixed, according to the paper published in June 2023 in the journal Nature Human Behaviour. Those conflicting results could be due to research only focusing on a specific group or region, said Turhan Canli, a professor of integrative neuroscience in the department of psychology at New York’s Stony Brook University. Canli wasn’t involved in the study.

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This paper, however, is a meta-analysis of 90 studies that had examined the links between loneliness, social isolation and early death among more than 2 million adults. Study participants were followed for anywhere from six months to 25 years.

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