It wasn’t by a narrow margin, either. Six years into the study, 23 percent of those who identified themselves as lonely had died. Those who said they experienced “adequate companionship” fared better: 14 percent died within the same time frame: a 9 percent difference.
Barbara Moscowitz, a senior geriatric social worker at Massachusetts General Hospital broke it down in some fairly heartbreaking terms to The New York Times:
“The need we’ve had our entire lives — people who know us, value us, who bring us joy — that never goes away.”
We’re social creatures after all, why wouldn’t we want to be surrounded by those we love? Heck, one of the Beatles most memorable songs were about this very phenomenon.
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