By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Two new studies in the Archives of Internal Medicine have taken a look at the toll loneliness can play on our health.

The first report looked at loneliness in older individuals and it found that loneliness is linked to a functional decline — even death. This study looked at older people and found that loneliness can be a source of distress and lead to an impaired quality of life. It was done at the University Of California, San Francisco.

Another report, done at Harvard, looked at 44,500 patients. In that report, they found that 1-in-7 American adults live alone.

Evidence suggests that social isolation is associated with emotional stress. This can negatively impact health behavior and also effect access to healthcare.

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