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Stress and Social Isolation Increase Vulnerability to Stroke

During the present pandemic, one strategy utilized to combat COVID-19 transmission has been Stress and Social Isolation Increase Vulnerability to Stroke. However, according to new research, postmenopausal women who experience high degrees of Stress and Social Isolation Increase Vulnerability to Stroke have a 27 percent higher risk of heart disease.

The results of the prospective study, which were published in the online issue of JAMA Network Open on February 2, 2022, show that Stress and Social Isolation Increase Vulnerability to Stroke by 8% and 5%, respectively.

Loneliness and Social Isolation

Those who reported high levels of both increased their risk by 13% to 27% compared to women who reported low levels of Stress and Social Isolation Increase Vulnerability to Stroke.

Importantly, while these are mildly associated and can occur simultaneously, they are not mutually exclusive. A person who is socially isolated is not always lonely, and a person who is lonely is not always socially isolated.

“Social isolation refers to being physically separated from other individuals, such as not touching, seeing, or talking to them. “Loneliness is an emotion,” said senior author John Bellettiere, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of epidemiology at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health.

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Stress and Social Isolation Increase Vulnerability to Stroke symptoms

Obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, poor diet, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are all linked to this, which are linked to health factors that raise the risk of cardiovascular disease.

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When researchers accounted for diabetes and depression and included all of these health behaviors and symptoms in their analysis, high social isolation and loneliness remained substantially connected to an elevated risk of heart disease, demonstrating the relevance of researching these social factors.

Heart disease is the top cause of death for women in the United States, accounting for one out of every five deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health Risks of Loneliness

Although it’s difficult to quantify this, there’s solid evidence that many persons in their 50s and beyond are socially isolated or lonely in ways that jeopardies their health. According to recent research:

  • It increases a person’s risk of dying prematurely from any cause, a risk that may be comparable to that of smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity.
  • Dementia risk was found to be 50 % higher in people who were socially isolated.
  • Poor social ties (defined by social isolation or loneliness) were linked to a 32% higher risk of heart disease and a 32% higher risk of stroke.
  • Loneliness has been linked to an increased risk of sadness, anxiety, and suicide.
  • Loneliness was linked to a roughly fourfold greater risk of death, a 68 % increased chance of hospitalization, and a 57 % increased risk of emergency department visits among heart failure patients.

Immigrant, LGBT People Are at Higher Risk

The report focuses on vulnerable older persons, such as immigrants, lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities, minorities, and elder abuse victims.

It also points out that there is a lack of literature for these populations, and that additional research is needed to assess risks, impacts, and recommended interventions.

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According to recent studies, immigrant populations, as well as lesbian, homosexual, and bisexual people, experience this at a higher rate than other groups. Immigrant Latinos, for example, “had less social links and poorer degrees of social integration than Latinos who were born in the United States.”

Language challenges, disparities in community, family dynamics, and new relationships with little depth or history are among the stressors that first-generation immigrants face, according to the survey.

Similarly, because of stigma, discrimination, and impediments to care, gay, lesbian, and bisexual people experience more alone than their straight counterparts.

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Health Care System Interventions Are Key

People are social creatures by nature, and strong social bonds can help them live longer, healthier lives. Health care systems are a crucial, although under utilized, partner in diagnosing this and preventing loneliness-related illness disorders.

Almost every adult over the age of 50 interacts with the health-care system in some capacity. A doctor’s checkup or a visit from a home health nurse may be one of the rare face-to-face meetings that folks without social connections have.

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Clinicians will have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to identify those who are lonely or socially isolated.

Humans are social creatures. Many people are experiencing these during COVID-19, which could lead to chronic conditions, according to first author Natalie Golaszewski, Ph.D., a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California San Diego’s Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science.

“It’s critical to learn more about the short- and long-term effects of these events on cardiovascular health and overall well-being.”

Study Finds

According to the authors, as social networks decrease, older persons are more vulnerable to this. One-fourth of persons 65 and older report feeling lonely, while one-third of adults 45 and older say they are lonely.

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“We don’t know if the higher risk of cardiovascular disease is related to acute this or if it’s due to long-term exposure accumulated over a lifetime.” “More research is needed to properly comprehend this,” Bellettiere stated.

According to previous study, women are more socially isolated than men.


Some folks prefer to be alone. It’s also worth noting that these are two separate elements of social connections that have little in common. Both, though, can be harmful to one’s health.

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Q- Does social isolation cause heart problems?

A- The risk of coronary heart disease and stroke has been linked to this.

Q- Why is social isolation bad for older adults?

A- Alzheimer’s illness is exacerbated by this. According to the study, this could be due to the fact that isolated elderly persons receive less stimulation or that their symptoms are less likely to be reported before the disease has progressed.

Q- Does loneliness cause heart attacks?

A- Persons who are socially isolated or lonely are more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than people who have strong personal networks, according to researchers. According to the study, social isolation, but not loneliness, appears to raise the risk of death in those with a history of heart disease.

Q- Is loneliness a risk factor for disease?

A- These, or both were linked to a 29 % higher risk of heart attack and a 32 % higher risk of stroke, according to the findings. According to the researchers, the risk was comparable to that of mild smoking or obesity.

Q- Does loneliness cause dementia?

A- Loneliness has been shown to have a negative impact on brain health and mental acuity. Loneliness has also been linked to a 20 % increase in the risk of getting dementia. In fact, loneliness has a similar effect as other well-known dementia risk factors like diabetes, hypertension, physical inactivity, and hearing loss.


The views expressed in this article should not be considered a substitute for medical advice. Please contact your treating physician for more information.Stress and Social Isolation Increase Vulnerability to Stroke

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