There has been a lot of research recently into the links between people's levels of social support and their physical and mental health. A study of nearly 3,000 adults, aged between 57 and 85 by researchers at Cornell University in the U.S. has found that people's perceptions of their social support may be just as important as their actual ties with friends and family. The study found that people's actual social connections were linked to their physical health but that their perceptions of social isolation were related to both their physical and their mental health. Feelings of loneliness and isolation can cause stress, low self-esteem and contribute towards depression all of which can affect people's health either by leading them into unhealthy habits or by directly affecting the body.
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