Many of us frequently feel lonely. Even some people who are surrounded by others throughout the day, or are in a long-lasting marriage, still experience a deep and pervasive loneliness.

Feelings of loneliness and isolation affect all types and ages of people, although some, like adolescents, are more likely to be impacted than others. The elderly are also at a high risk.

Suffering from loneliness is somewhat like suffering from physical pain. Feelings of isolation can have a serious detrimental effect on one’s mental and physical health. Loneliness can be a risk factor for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and arthritis, among other critical diseases. Lonely people are also twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Since the risks associated with loneliness are severe and can seriously impact a person’s day-to-day life, it is imperative to help people of all ages connect with others. Just like promoting healthy eating and exercise and reducing drug and alcohol consumption, taking steps to increase social opportunities is important to public and personal health.

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