Old Fart News Author: W. Lewis
We’ve all heard how great being single is, however according to science, living alone is actually the quickest way to die. Scientific research has found that if you’re single, and remain so, it’s likely that you’ll die about a decade earlier than your cohabiting friends.
There are definite benefits to living by yourself; like sleeping in any direction on any side of the bed that you so choose, not having to ‘clean up’ after someone else, and not having to worry about someone else’s feelings when decisions need to be made. But the cost may be a shortened life span.
Yes, being single is deadly according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that revealed the benefits of being single are negated by the detriments. The study, led by David Roelfs, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, was actually a study of studies. 90 studies to be exact, involving almost 500 million people.
The studies defined ‘single’ as those who never married, and excluded those who were divorced or widowed. The data revealed that the risk of death for single men was 32 percent higher across a lifetime than men in a relationship, and that single women face a 23 percent higher mortality risk than women in a relationship. The studies did not factor in the quality of relationships, nor their effect on longevity, but are studies really required to tell us that lousy relationships are bad for our health?
But not all experts agree with the study’s findings. Social psychologist Bella DePaulo , author of “Singled Out: How Singles are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After” feels that there’s a marriage bias, saying too many studies look at singles versus married people, without counting those who became single after being married, which skews the numbers.
Still, people living alone have a 59% higher risk of physical and mental health decline. Those risks include a 32% higher chance of stroke, a 64% higher risk of dementia, and a 26% higher risk of premature death*. And socially isolated persons, when compared to those not isolated, make more visits to doctors, clinics and emergency rooms, use more medication, fall more often, and enter residential care sooner*.
Causes may include poor diet, substance abuse, fewer visits to doctors, dentists, and other professionals, depression, and a whole host of others. The bottom line is that humans are social creatures who do best in social groups. So if you’re single, you’re likely to die much sooner than your friends who are in relationships, even though they are far more likely to feel that their life was over a long time ago.