Loneliness is not
simply being alone.

As a species we need human-to-human connection
to survive and thrive, and the research is proving it.

Every day more is being uncovered about the connection between loneliness and physical health. A strong base of peer reviewed research and application of knowledge is the first step to national policy that could bring healing equal to the scale of the suffering.

Research Journals

Loneliness tied to more use of opioids, NSAIDs and sleep medicines: JAMA Study
Hina Zahid | Medical Dialogues | July 2021
Loneliness was associated with higher pain medication use, including use of opioids and NSAIDs, and more than twice the frequency of use of antidepressants, sleep medications, and benzodiazepines.
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Prevalence of loneliness amongst older people in high-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Kavita Chawla, Tafadzwa Patience Kunonga, et al. | PLoS ONE | July 2021
Loneliness is associated with increased rates of morbidity and mortality, and is a growing public health concern in later life. This study aimed to produce an evidence-based estimate of the prevalence of loneliness amongst older people (aged 60 years and above).
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Social isolation of older adults in long term care as a result of COVID-19 mitigation measures during the COVID-19 pandemic: Protecting the individual or a means to an end?
Cathy Purvis Lively | Voices in Bioethics | July 2021
While protecting the individual from disease, the restrictions also had a determinantal effect. The restrictions exacerbated social isolation and loneliness, two pervasive public health concerns within the older adult population.
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Approaches to enhance social connection in older adults: an integrative review of literature
Usar Suragarn Ph.D., MSN, R.N.; Debra Hain Ph.D., APRN, ANP-BC, GNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN; GlennPfaff MSN, RNa | Elsevier | July 2021
Early interventions should include diverse activities enabling new social networks to be formed and to maintain a social connection with others face-to-face or through the use of technology.
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Lonely in the city – sociodemographic status and somatic morbidities as predictors of loneliness and depression among seniors – preliminary results
Kasper Sipowicz, Marlena Podlecka et al. | International Journal of Environmental Research and Health | July 2021
The aim of this paper is to compare the perceived level of loneliness and depression in seniors living in the country and in the cities and assess somatic morbidity and sociodemographic status as predictors of loneliness and depressiveness.
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Testing the Multi-Theory Model (MTM) to predict the use of new technology for social connectedness in the COVID-19 pandemic
Manoj Sharma, Kavita Batra, Jason Flatt | Healthcare | July 2021
The current study aims to test theory-based determinants in explaining the adoption of new
technology in a nationally representative sample during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy reduces loneliness in patients with persistent depressive disorder
Matthias A. Reinhard, Katharina Zentz, Tabea Nenov-Matt, et al. | Elsevier | June 2021
As loneliness is no primary focus of psychotherapy to date and the Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP) particularly addresses interpersonal relationships, we investigate the effects of CBASP on loneliness in an open study in inpatients with persistent depressive disorder.
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Seeing sadness: Comorbid effects of loneliness and depression on emotional face processing
Survjit Cheeta, Joseph Beevers, Sophie Chambers, Andre Szameitat, Chris Chandler | Brain and Behavior – Wiley | April 2021
This is the first study to tease out comorbid versus independent effects of loneliness and depression on social information processing. To the extent that emotional biases may act as risk factors for detrimental outcomes, our findings highlight the importance of treating both loneliness and depression.
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The interplay between stress, inflammation, and emotional attention: Relevance for depression
Viktoriya Maydych | Frontiers in Neuroscience | April 2019
This mini-review summarizes current research on the reciprocal relationships between different types of stressors, emotional attention, inflammation, and depression, and discusses potential neurobiological mechanisms underlying these interactions.
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Effect of loneliness in the workplace on employees’ job performance: A study for hospital employees
Serkan Deniz | International Journal of Health Services Research and Policy | 2019
According to the studies in the literature, loneliness in the workplace leads to reduced life satisfaction and job satisfaction of employees, leader-member interaction, perceived manager support, organizational citizenship behavior, work performance and work efficiency.
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The pathophysiology of perceived social isolation: Effects on health and mortality
Adnan Bashir Bhatti, Anwar ul Haq | Cureus | January 2017
Perceived social isolation (PSI) is a deficit in normal human social interaction, which has been associated with negative health outcomes. However, the precise mechanisms through which PSI influences human health are not fully known. This review aims at bringing out what is known about these pathways through which social isolation affects human health.
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Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors of mortality: A meta-analytic review
Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Timothy B. Smith, Mark Baker, et al. | Perspectives on Psychological Science | 2015
Actual and perceived social isolation are both associated with increased risk for early mortality. In this meta-analytic review, our objective is to establish the overall and relative magnitude of social isolation and loneliness and to examine possible moderators.
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Loneliness matters: A theoretical and empirical review of consequences and mechanisms
Louise C. Hawkley, Ph.D. ; John T. Cacioppo, Ph.D. | Annals of Behavioral Medicine | July 2010
The purpose of this paper is to review the features and consequences of loneliness within a comprehensive theoretical framework that informs interventions to reduce loneliness.
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Social isolation, loneliness and health in old age: A scoping review
Emilie Courtin and Martin Knapp | Health and Social Care in the Community | December 2015
The health and well-being consequences of social isolation and loneliness in old age are increasingly being recognised. The purpose of this scoping review was to take stock of the available evidence and to highlight gaps and areas for future research.
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Feelings of loneliness, but not social isolation, predict dementia onset: Results from the Amsterdam Study of the Elderly (AMSTEL)
Holwerda TJ, Deeg DJH, Beekman ATF, et al. | Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry | January 2014
Feeling lonely rather than being alone is associated with an increased risk of clinical dementia in later life and can be considered a major risk factor that, independently of vascular disease, depression and other confounding factors, deserves clinical attention.
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Media

Young people hit hardest by loneliness and depression during Covid-19
William A. Haseltine | Forbes | April 2021
A CDC online survey indicates that young people between the ages of 18-24 are more likely to suffer mental health problems during the pandemic than any age group.
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Loneliness won’t end when the pandemic ends
Maria Morava and Scott Andrew | CNN | April 2021
Whether people who are lonely have too few relationships or not enough deep bonds with others, loneliness has dire health outcomes across the board.
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Scientists show what loneliness looks like in the brain
McGill University | Science Daily | December 2020
A new study shows a sort of signature in the brains of lonely people that make them distinct in fundamental ways, based on variations in the volume of different brain regions as well as based on how those regions communicate with one another across brain networks.
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Loneliness in youth could impact mental health over the long term
Elsevier | Science Daily | November 2020
The review, which synthesizes over 60 pre-existing, peer-reviewed studies on topics spanning isolation, loneliness and mental health for young people aged between 4 and 21 years of age, found extensive evidence of an association between loneliness and an increased risk of mental health problems for children and young people.
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The science behind why social isolation can make you lonely
Polina Marinova Pompliano | The Profile | May 2020
I caught up with Laura to discuss America’s loneliness epidemic, why solitude can help us regulate our emotions, and what we can do in our everyday lives to preserve a sense of meaning and connection.
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COVID-19 is making America’s loneliness epidemic even worse
Jamie Ducharme | Time Magazine | May 2020
Experts are rightly concerned about the mental health ramifications of this widespread isolation, especially since there’s no agreed-upon tipping point at which acute loneliness transitions into a chronic problem with long-term consequences.
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Loneliness and its impact on the American workplace
Cigna Report | March 2020
Cigna’s loneliness research shows that loneliness is a multifaceted issue with multiple drivers, including a lack of social support, too few meaningful social interactions, poor physical and mental health, and a lack of balance in our lives.
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80 people went to Dallas emergency rooms 5,139 time in a year – usually because they were lonely
Teresa Woodard | WFAA ABC | May 2019
Once they determined who those high utilizers were, it was time to get back to why they keep coming in. That research led to a painful reality: the cause for most of the repeat visits is loneliness. 
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Loneliness costs the US almost $7 billion extra each year
Corinne Purtill | Quartz | October 2018
Social isolation takes a heavy toll on those who suffer from it, both in health and overall well-being. An effort to quantify the cost of loneliness in the US also found that among Americans aged 65 or older, social isolation costs the US government nearly $7 billion in additional health care costs per year.
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Loneliness and social connections: A national survey of adults 45 and older
G. Oscar Anderson, Colette E. Thayer | AARP Foundation | September 2018
The national survey of 3,020 midlife and older adults was designed to get a current snapshot of loneliness and how it relates to social isolation factors. 
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The science of loneliness
Robin Marantz Henig | Psychology Today | April 2014
…lonely people are impaired in their ability to control their emotions, make decisions, and interact with people. Ironically, the lonelier people were, the less well they functioned with others.
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Biology of loneliness
Loneliness NZ | The Loneliness New Zealand Charitable Trust
Loneliness is part of our biology. With social and environmental triggers, it produces psychological (and physical) responses that affect behaviour and our wellbeing. To understand the biology of loneliness, we need to consider loneliness in terms of evolution, genetics and neurology.
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