Only the Lonely
Let’s start with a quiz! What are the answers to these three questions?
1. What is associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke?
2. What increases the risk of premature death by around 60%?
3. What raises the risk of premature death by as much if not more than smoking 15 cigarettes a day, or drinking 6 alcoholic drinks a day?
If you answered “loneliness” to all three questions, you are correct!
This week the US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued an Advisory declaring loneliness and lack of social connections a national public health epidemic. The Advisory’s research-backed data on the impact of loneliness on individuals’ health and the economic costs to individuals, employers, and society are startling. In addition to the health impacts in the above quiz, loneliness and social isolation increase an individual’s risk of other health conditions such as dementia, type 2 diabetes, depression, and anxiety. Stress-related absenteeism due to loneliness costs employers an estimated $154 billion annually and greater workplace loneliness is related to lower job performance.
Is the covid-19 pandemic to blame for the loneliness epidemic? In an interview with Axios, Dr. Murthy said “COVID most recently exacerbated the loneliness that’s been building for decades. In the last half-century, we’ve seen the pace of change has dramatically increased. We communicate differently with people in part because of technology. We change jobs more often. We move more often. That has a profound impact on our relationships with one another.”
The Surgeon General’s Advisory lays a framework for a National Strategy to Advance Social Connection. The framework contains steps that individuals, workplaces, schools, healthcare providers, insurers and others can take to address the loneliness epidemic. Check out All the Lonely People to learn more about the loneliness epidemic!
- Read the News: BCBS MI & BCBS VT affiliation, RSV vaccine, and Wegovy supply limit.
- All the Lonely People: current loneliness epidemic, 6 steps to address it, and the importance of acquaintances.
- Help: “ghost networks”, loss of access to free medications, and MI hospital grades.
- Ticket to Ride: including my personal favorite, The Kentucky Derby’s forgotten Black Past!
Read the News
Michigan Blues plan takes Vermont Blues under its wing in affiliation deal
US approves 1st vaccine for RSV after decades of attempts
Maker of Wegovy Limits Supply of Obesity Drug in the United States
All the Lonely People
Loneliness poses risks as deadly as smoking, surgeon general warns
America has a loneliness epidemic. Here are 6 steps to address it
New York Times
They May Be Just Acquaintances. They’re Important to You Anyway.
Who are you going to call? Finance hopes not ghost networks
Wall Street Journal
Patients Lose Access to Free Medicines Amid Spat Between Drugmakers, Health Plans
Safety grades dipped for 19 Michigan hospitals. How did yours score?
Ticket to Ride
New York Times
Inside King Charles III’s Coronation Coaches
Jareth Loveberry’s Unlikely Ride From Michigan Bullring To The Kentucky Derby
Enjoy the weekend!
Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Office: (248) 792-2187
Email: [email protected]