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:10/13/2017)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... influential people in business to advocate for action towards gender equality at their inaugural ... views from around the globe, and reached a social audience of over 3 million. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of a missionary ... Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of published author, ... ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which she has ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... the demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to Adults ... tested to meet the highest standard. , These products are also: Gluten ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa Mohebi, the Los Angeles based ... the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal section, featuring articles written by ... as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , Dr. Mohebi says “I enjoy ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creator ... tool, and the Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN), an independent professional organization that ... new strategic alliance. , As CPEN’s strategic partner, HLI will help support ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... CHICAGO , Oct. 11, 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, ... its Aspen Surgical facility in Las Piedras, ... surgical scalpels and blades. ... confirmed that the facility sustained minor structural damage, temporary ... Hurricane Maria. Repairs have been completed, manufacturing operations have ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... 2017  In response to the nationwide opioid ... Surgeons (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations that urge ibuprofen ... as a first-line therapy to manage a patient,s ... Recognizing the value and importance of ... Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative Pain Management" stresses that ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... FLINT, Mich. , Oct. 2, 2017 ... acquired 8th Day Software and Consulting, LLC , ... 8th Day Software, based in Tennessee ... Management LLC. 8th Day expands EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for ... product development. "In ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: