What could be worse for your health than smoking and being overweight? New research suggests that the thing that may be worse for your health is  loneliness.

University of Chicago researcher, John Cacioppo says that individuals who have a sense of isolation or rejection can suffer from ailments like high blood pressure and maybe even an increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.

It is thought that the stress from being lonely makes it harder for blood to flow through the cardiovascular system, thus affecting the immune system, and often making it harder to sleep well.

Healthwise, he said the difference between a lonely person and a popular person was akin to “a smoker and a non-smoker,” something he called “stunning” and proof of “just how powerful it is.”

“The lonely have poor health,” Cacioppo said. “They exercise less [and eat] more fats and sugars … Loneliness lowers the ability to control yourself. It is really easy after a bad day to have a second scotch and a third to get some comfort.”

 

[The Telegraph]