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Loneliness Is an Epidemic

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola  Fact Checked January 26, 2023


Loneliness has been at “epidemic” levels for several years. In a 2018 survey of
Americans aged 18 and older, 46% reported “sometimes” or “always” feeling lonely

A World Health Organization study published in 2021 found loneliness affected up to 34%
of older adults in China, Europe, Latin America and the U.S.

Other recent research found loneliness among adolescents ranged from a low of 9.2% in
Southeast Asia to a high of 14.4% in the Eastern Mediterranean region. The highest rate
— 21% — was found among elderly Eastern Europeans

Scientists have linked loneliness with a greater risk for obesity, heart disease, anxiety,
dementia, stress, inflammation, reduced immune function, poor sleep and premature

Loneliness is also associated with a greater risk of addiction, and the rate of deaths
directly attributed to alcohol rose by more than 25% in 2020, the first year of the
pandemic, when many were self-isolating and working from home. The trend continued
into 2021, by then up 34% from prepandemic levels

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