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Social interactions and loneliness in older Australian women


Social isolation and loneliness increase the risk of depression and death and likely represents a greater public health hazard than obesity. Last year, researchers found that Irish and English older adults who reported being not socially isolated but lonely were more likely to have cognitive decline. This example illustrates the adverse health effects of being “alone in a crowd” and how social interactions should be assessed in combination with loneliness. This proposal outlines several key concepts to progress our understanding of how the combination of social isolation and loneliness affects our health and longevity.