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Loneliness is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day: WHO

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As the coronavirus pandemic fades into the background, the effects of the virus-only The epidemic continues to fuel physical and mental health problems.

The World Health Organization has declared loneliness a “pressing health threat,” with risks as deadly as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.

“[Loneliness] “It transcends borders and is becoming a global public health issue that affects all facets of health, well-being and development,” said African Union Youth Envoy Chido Mpemba. The Guardian this week.

Mpemba and US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy co-chair the newly formed WHO international committee. Social Connection Commissiona coalition of 11 leading health advocates and policymakers.

Its three-year mission is to combat the plague of isolation accelerated by lockdown measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The World Health Organization has declared loneliness a “pressing health threat,” with risks as serious as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.
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In its announcement, the WHO states that one in four older people suffers from social isolation, while between 5% and 15% of adolescents experience loneliness.

The new WHO commission follows a new study from the University of Glasgow in Scotland which found that not socializing with friends or family can increase the risk of dying prematurely by 39%.

About 458,000 middle-aged participants were followed for about 12 years, and about 33,000 deaths were reported during the follow-up period.

The investigation, posted last week in the journal BMC Medicine, found that connecting with friends and family at least once a month was highly valuable, while surface-level interactions did not appear to reduce the risk of premature death.

Loneliness carries risks of premature death that are on par with smoking, obesity and other factors, according to research.
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“When addressing issues such as loneliness and social isolation, we need to assess these different dimensions, both separately and in combination, if we are to identify and support those who are most isolated in society,” said Hamish Foster, first author of the study and researcher clinical in the School of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow said in a statement.

For its part, the new WHO commission plans to “analyze the central role that social connection plays in improving the health of people of all ages and outline solutions to build social connections at scale.”

“Given the profound health and social consequences of loneliness and isolation, we have an obligation to make the same investments to rebuild the social fabric of society that we have made to address other global health problems, such as tobacco use, obesity and addiction. crisis,” Murthy said in a statement.

Loneliness levels skyrocketed during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Studies have shown that being alone constantly carries risks of anxiety, depression, poor immune function, cardiovascular problems, and even brain shrinkage.

The temporal lobe, occipital lobe, cingulate, hippocampus, and amygdala were found smaller in people who had less social interaction.

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