Loneliness as bad as 15 cigarettes: WHO

Loneliness is now a pressing health threat globally, the WHO has said. | Shutterstock

WHO says...

The mortality effects of loneliness are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. | Shutterstock

Loneliness can cause health risks greater than those associated with obesity and physical inactivity. | Shutterstock

The pandemic impact:

The lockdown and restrictions on socialising due to the Covid-19 pandemic increased loneliness globally. | Shutterstock

Lacking social connection can increase the risk for premature death. | Shutterstock

Data speaks:

One in four older people is experiencing social isolation across the world. | Shutterstock

The health risks:

In older adults, loneliness is associated with a 50% increased risk of developing dementia and a 30% increased risk of incident coronary artery disease or stroke. | Shutterstock

Not just senior citizens:

Between 5% and 15% of adolescents are lonely. | Shutterstock

A review of 63 studies concluded that loneliness and social isolation among children and adolescents increase the risk of depression and anxiety. | Shutterstock