Lonely people adopt a sedentary lifestyle, exercise less and drink more all of which leads to a higher incidence of heart disease and blood clots.
People who live alone also suffer more from debilitating diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and glaucoma.
Statistics show that 51% of people who live alone suffer from arthritis and rheumatism compared with 38% of people who live with others.
The Times is backing a charity campaign to support the WRVS which works to help isolated elderly people.And now the government has said it will measure and track loneliness so that local authorities can target services better.
The first study into this topic was carried out only 6 years ago by the University of California and found that lonely people had almost twice the risk of death than others. Cambridge University found that people living alone were more than twice as likely to have falls.
Jeremy Hunt the Health Secretary said; “the mark of a civilised society is how well we care for older people and loneliness can have a major impact on a person’s health and happiness”.