Researchers from the universities of Utah and North Carolina have been reviewing the research into the effects of loneliness on people's health and have found that it can be as dangerous as smoking and alcohol and probably a lot less fun. The researchers analysed data from 148 studies carried out over three decades and involving more than 300,000 people. They found that people who have no social life are 50% more likely to die early than those who are well connected and those who socialise regularly with family and friends live an average of 3.7 years longer. People with little social support have a mortality rate as high as alcoholics while the impact of making friends is comparable to the effect of giving up smoking.
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