Navigation Links
Close Ties With Others Might Lengthen Life, Review Finds
Date:7/27/2010

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Family and friends may do more than provide companionship: They also may boost your longevity, making as much of a difference as not smoking, a new analysis of studies suggests.

Researchers combined the results of 148 studies and estimated that adults with strong personal relationships may live an average of almost 4 years longer than those with weaker social ties.

The analysis doesn't prove that relationships directly help people live longer, but it seems clear that "our relationships come with more than just emotional benefits," said study author Julianne Holt-Lunstad, an associate professor of psychology at Brigham Young University.

"They can influence our longevity and our health," she added.

The study is published in the July issue of PLoS medicine.

Holt-Lunstad and colleagues examined studies involving almost 309,000 people on the effects of relationships -- such as those with friends, family, roommates and spouses -- on life span. The studies, conducted in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, followed people for an average of 7.5 years.

"Among adults over age 18, those with strong social relationships are likely to live an average of 3.7 years longer than those with weaker social relationships," said study co-author Timothy Smith, a psychology professor at Brigham Young University.

The effect held up even when researchers adjusted their figures for factors such as age and health status.

It appears that strong relationships had an effect comparable to that of quitting smoking and a greater effect than known risk factors such as obesity and alcohol abuse, Holt-Lunstad said.

The challenge now is to put this information to good use, said the authors, who noted that in this era of technology, the quantity and quality of relationships seems to be decreasing.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor who studies happiness at the University of California at Riverside, said friends and family can affect your health in a variety of ways. "They help support good health habits: They remind us to put that seat belt on and ask us about that pain we've had, have we had that checked out? That may be the biggest factor."

Relationships may also reduce stress and boost the immune system, she said.

Or, it could be that people with more relationships live longer because "they're healthier to begin with: They could be more active and have more energy to engage in social activities," she said.

But other factors may also play a role, and it may be impossible to ever definitively say that more social relationships translate to longer lifespans, she said.

When scientists want to know if one thing causes another, they often turn to the gold standard of research: They randomly assign people to groups -- maybe one gets a medication and one doesn't -- and see what happens.

But, "you can never do a experiment where you isolate 100 people and then take 100 people and give them lots of friends," she said.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has details on stress.

SOURCES: Julianne Holt-Lunstad, associate professor, psychology, and Timothy Smith, PhD, professor, psychology, both of Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., psychology professor, University of California, Riverside; July 2010 PLoS Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. A new drug treatment to close the window on colon cancer
2. US Department of Defense helps move spinal cord injury treatment closer to clinical trials
3. Some statins have unintended effects and warrant closer monitoring, study finds
4. Mount Sinai researchers move closer to a universal influenza vaccine
5. Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom Open Their Closets to Fans
6. Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer Moves Closer
7. St. Vincent's Hospital Closes—and BMCC Rescues its Paramedic Program
8. SeniorHomes.com Closes $1.1 Million Series A Round of Investment Financing
9. Heart Attack Guidelines Close Racial Gaps in Hospital Care
10. Getting Closer to Cause of Tourette Syndrome
11. Moving Closer to a Urine Test for Colon Cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Close Ties With Others Might Lengthen Life, Review Finds
(Date:6/26/2016)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind ... able to be personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the ... solutions currently only offer a one size fits all type program , They ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes ... important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a ... new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a ... occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... the United States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new ... the facility Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. ... from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating ... one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that ... PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for ... clearance, Roche is the first IVD company in the ... risk assessment and management. PCT is a ... in blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , , , WHEN: ... , , , , LOCATION: , , , Online, with ... , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & Sullivan,s Global Vice ... Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, Program Manager , ... industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new demand spaces, such ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The vast majority of dialysis patients currently receive ... usually 3 times a week, with treatment times averaging ... equipment preparation and wait time.  This regimen can be ... who are elderly and frail.  Many elderly dialysis patients ... for some duration of time. Residents in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: