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Social Relationships are Key To Health and to Health Policy

07 October 2010

A new systematic review conducted by PLoS Medicine has shed new light on the association between social relationships and beneficial effects on health outcomes such as mortality.

In July 2010, PLoS Medicine retrieved data from 148 studies involving 308,849 participants. The researchers reported that stronger social relationships were associated with a 50% increased chance of survival. Remarkably, the degree of mortality risk associated with lack of social relationships was found to be similar to that which exists for more widely publicised risk factors such as smoking.

The report concludes that such a high level of risk deserves attention at the highest level in determination of health policy. According to the authors of the report, “Findings such as these argue strongly for the need to fundamentally rethink how societies can look beyond the medical causes of disease in an effort to promote health and wellbeing and that governments can, and should, do much toward this goal – even during a period of economic crisis.”

For more information on this article, contact Liz Watson on 0131 261 8799, or email admin@befriending.co.uk.