Have you ever had the feeling that you were alone in the world? According to an independent British study, loneliness or the lack of social relationships can significantly influence our life expectancy.

Loneliness can mean many things. A definition provided by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, describes loneliness as 'sad from being alone or producing a feeling of bleakness or desolation

 But the researchers suggested that in order to feel lonely, one doesn't necessarily have to be alone, simply feeling isolated is enough to increase stress levels and have a detrimental effect on your health. And the study suggests that the burden of loneliness doesn't just making you sick, it actually take years off your life.      

The meta-analysis, published by the Public Library of Science used data extracted from over 300,000 participants over 148 prospective studies. Using "effect" groups, they compared the difference of likelihood of death between groups. The scientists found that those with stronger social relationships were 50 percent more likely to live longer. than those with weak social relationships.

"These findings indicate that the influence of social relationships on the risk of death are comparable with well-established risk factors for mortality such as smoking and alcohol consumption and exceed the influence of other risk factors such as physical inactivity and obesity," wrote co author Julianne Holt-Lunstad.

Relationships are important to develop and maintain in order to age gracefully and live happily. According to the study, your good friends contribute as much to your health as exercise and diet. Visit our clinic for information about anti aging in Houston and what other steps you can take to help you live longer and healthier