Lonely Hearts are More Vulnerable for Cardiac Health

Author : Dr. P. D.GUPTA

(Former Director Grade Scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India)


Like, an apple a day keeps doctor away, joint family system keeps cardiologist away.   A new study shows the connection between being and feeling alone and having heart attacks and strokes. This was said by the Professor of clinical medicine at the University of California San Diego Crystal Wiley Cené,  after  four decades of research. The results of this research was published in Journal of the American Heart Association  Vol 11, Issue 5, March 1, 2022. I’m surprised to read this piece of research. I’m puzzled why a highly learned Professor took 40 years to arrived these results where as in India this system was in practice since ages.  

Thanks to newly introduced virus Covid-19, if it would not have come to the planet we would have missed such important research conclusions/ social practices which have practiced by Indians from the early times, including greeting by folding both hands. According to the researchers, this vulnerability to cardiovascular issues is particularly important at the present moment, thanks to the pervasiveness of social isolation and loneliness in the midst and aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, one survey recently reported that as many as 36 percent of people in the U.S. felt feelings of  isolation and loneliness “frequently” or “almost all the time or all the time” in the face of the pandemic. 

Forty years of their hard work arrives at conclusion that   clearly demonstrated that social isolation and loneliness are both associated with adverse health outcomes. Socially isolated adults faced a 40 percent increase in the risk of recurring heart attacks and strokes, and those who already had heart disease had a 100 to 200 percent increase in the risk of death in a follow-up study of six years. Furthermore,   the team found that isolated individuals are more likely to stay sedentary and to avoid physical activity. Both are thought as harmful to heart health. 

Based on their research, they have suggested,  

“there is an urgent need to develop, implement and evaluate programs and strategies to reduce the negative effects of social isolation and loneliness on cardiovascular  health, particularly for at-risk populations,”  

 “Clinicians should ask patients about the frequency of their social activity and whether they are satisfied with their level of interactions with friends and family.  

they should then be prepared to refer people who are socially isolated or lonely — especially those with a history of heart disease or stroke — to community resources to help them connect with others. 

Now, Hope more traditional Indian Systems will be adopted by the western world. 

(The author has his own study and views)