Lesson 6 - Be a Social Animal

Impact of social support on health

At any age, there is an important connection between social support and good health. Social support in its many forms has a powerful positive influence on health and can reduce some of the negative health related aspects of aging. On the other hand, as we get older social isolation is a risk factor for poor health.

In study after study, medical researchers have found that people who have friends they can turn to for affirmation, empathy, advice, assistance, and affection are more likely to survive health challenges like heart attacks, and are less likely to develop diseases.

Many studies have shown that people who feel lonely and isolated have a 20-50% higher rate of premature death from virtually all causes when compared with those who have a sense of community and connection with others.

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