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NEW STUDY: Health Effects of Isolation and Loneliness

Physicians are advocating for primary care doctors to incorporate inquiries about loneliness and social isolation into routine health assessments and when addressing chronic illnesses, as emerging research suggests their significance rivals that of traditional health metrics like blood pressure and lifestyle factors. A study published in the Annals of Family Medicine underscores the necessity for a comprehensive approach within the healthcare system to tackle social isolation and loneliness, emphasizing screening, chronic disease management, policy adjustments, and collaboration with community resources to acknowledge these issues as medical concerns.

The U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, declared loneliness and isolation an epidemic last year, likening its health repercussions to those of smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day. Studies have shown that loneliness and social isolation can contribute to various mental and physical health issues. Therefore, physicians stress the importance of discussing these topics during routine health visits and when managing chronic conditions.

This initiative aligns with BrainSavers' holistic approach to health, which emphasizes the importance of social engagement among its six pillars of health. By recognizing the power of connection in maintaining overall well-being, healthcare providers can better address the multifaceted nature of their patients' health.


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