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Loneliness Does Not Worsen Heart Disease

Loneliness Does Not Worsen Heart Disease

Tuesday, 26 March, 2019 - 07:45
A monitor shows a three-dimensional image of a human heart at the Klaus-Tschira-Institute for Integrative Computational Cardiology, department of the Heidelberg University Hospital, in Heidelberg, Germany, Aug. 14, 2018.
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
For people with well-controlled heart disease, living alone isn’t linked with a higher risk of cardiovascular problems.

For five years, researchers tracked more than 32,000 patients from 45 countries. Their study examined people with stable coronary artery disease but hadn’t been causing problems for at least several months. According to Reuters, about 11% of study participants lived alone.

After accounting for factors that might influence the risk of heart problems such as age, sex, smoking status, and diabetes, the researchers found that overall, compared to participants who lived with other people, those living alone had no higher risk for heart attacks, heart failure or death.

The study, published in the journal Heart, found a difference between men and women. Men living alone had a 17% higher risk for major adverse cardiovascular events.

Lead author Dr. Sumeet Gandhi of St Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto told Reuters Health: "Men living alone who previously were married or cohabited with women may not have as strong coping mechanisms or social supports." Gandhi and his colleagues also wrote "Historically, women manage the household and assume a nurturing role and may develop superior self-care skills than their male counterparts. Women socialize differently than men and may form stronger social networks, which means the rely less on spousal support compared with men."

According to the study, previous research has suggested that patients living alone may be at increased risk of cardiovascular events. The new results may be the result of improved healthcare and better follow-ups.

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