Previous studies have linked the quality and quantity of a person’s social relationships to mental, as well as, physical health. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, from Brigham Young University (Utah, USA), and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 148 studies that included data from 308,849 men and women who were followed for more than seven years.
The team’s analysis determined individuals with adequate social connections have a 50 percent greater likelihood of longevity, as compared to those with poor or insufficient social relationships. The researchers note the overall effect remained consistent across age demographics and health status, suggesting that positive social engagement across the population may be a key to society-wide longevity.
- Holt-Lunstad J, Smith TB, Layton JB. “Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review.” PLoS Med 7(7), July 2010.