Loneliness increase heart disease risk for people with diabetes: Study
A new study in the US has found that loneliness is one of the most major health detriments there could be for diabetes patients.
Researchers at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, found that loneliness may be a bigger risk factor for heart disease in diabetes patients than a bad diet, smoking, lack of exercise, or depression.
Particularly, lonely diabetics are more prone to cardiovascular disease as opposed to the general population, the researchers noted.
Their study, published in the European Heart Journal on Thursday, followed more than 18,500 UK adults with diabetes aged 37 to 73. None of the subjects had heart disease.
In the following decade, about 3,200 of those people had developed cardiovascular disease. The authors found that patients who reported the highest loneliness scores had a 26% higher risk of developing heart disease.
Notably, social isolation without loneliness wasn't associated with any cardiovascular problems in the study.
Loneliness has previously been linked to a higher risk of heart disease in patients without diabetes.
Patients with diabetes are already at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. A January study published in diabetes medical journal Diabetologia found that loneliness may increase a person's likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, too.
US surgeon general Vivek Murthy said in a May report that a lack of social connection has similar impacts on human health to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.