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A recent study by the University of Eastern Finland shows that loneliness is linked to an increased risk of cancer in middle-aged men. Therefore, according to the researchers, addressing loneliness and social relationships should be an important part of comprehensive health care and disease prevention. The results were published in Psychiatry Research.
"Based on studies done over the past few years, it has been estimated that loneliness can be just as significant a health risk as smoking or being overweight. Our results support the idea of paying attention to this issue," said project researcher Siiri-Liisi Kraav from the University of Eastern Finland says.
The study started in the 1980s with 2,570 middle-aged men from eastern Finland taking part. Their health and mortality rates have been monitored using registry data to date. During the follow-up examination, 649 men, i. H. 25% of the participants, cancer and 283 men (11%) died of cancer. Loneliness increased the risk of cancer by about ten percent. This association with cancer risk was observed regardless of age, socio-economic status, lifestyle, sleep quality, symptoms of depression, body mass index, heart disease and their risk factors. In addition, cancer mortality was higher in cancer patients who were unmarried, widowed, or divorced at baseline.
"There is a growing awareness of the health effects of loneliness. Therefore, it is important to study the mechanisms by which loneliness has harmful effects on health. This information would enable us to better understand loneliness and the harm it causes to alleviate. as well as finding optimal ways to take preventive measures. "
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Siiri-Liisi Kraav et al., Loneliness and social isolation increase cancer incidence in a cohort of middle-aged Finnish men. A longitudinal study, Psychiatry Research (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / j.psychres.2021.113868
University of Eastern Finland
Male loneliness linked to increased cancer risk (2021, April 27)
accessed on April 27, 2021
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