Social Relationships Contribute to Long, Healthy Lives
Connection to a sense of purpose, community, and belonging has profound impact on a patient's health and mental well-being. Building and maintaining meaningful social relationships can reduce stress and has been shown to accompany the adoption of healthier lifestyle behaviors. While this area of health may often be overlooked, relationships are just as critical as exercise, nutrition, or sleep. Some research even touts the effect of strong relationships on improving longevity and life expectancy. Maintaining social relationships and support may help patients start and sustain positive improvements in their health and is an important consideration for lifestyle change.
Those with strong social relationships have a 50% increased likelihood of survival against chronic disease.1
In post-menopausal women, social isolation and loneliness may increase cardiovascular disease risk by up to 27%.2
Poor social relationships are associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke compared to those with strong social connections.3
Aging adults with lower social engagement are 59% more likely to experience cognitive decline and impairment.3
- Holt-Lunstad J, Smith TB, Layton JB. Social relationships and mortality risk: a meta-analytic review. PLoS Med. 2010;7(7):e1000316. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316
- Golaszewski NM, LaCroix AZ, Godino JG, et al. Evaluation of social isolation, loneliness, and cardiovascular disease among older women in the US. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(2):e2146461. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.46461
- Holt-Lunstad J. Social connection as a public health issue: the evidence and a systemic framework for prioritizing the "social" in social determinants of health. Annu Rev Public Health. 2022;43:193-213. doi:10.1146/annurev-publhealth-052020-110732
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