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Loneliness, living alone, and all-cause mortality: The role of emotional and social loneliness in the elderly during 19 years of follow-up

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dc.contributor.author O'Súilleabháin, Páraic S.
dc.contributor.author Gallagher, Stephen
dc.contributor.author Steptoe, Andrew
dc.date.accessioned 2019-09-09T09:01:04Z
dc.date.available 2019-09-09T09:01:04Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.citation O'Súilleabháin P.;Gallagher S.;Steptoe A. (2019) 'Loneliness, living alone, and all-cause mortality: The role of emotional and social loneliness in the elderly during 19 years of follow-up'. Psychosomatic medicine, 81 (6):521-526. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0033-3174
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10344/8038
dc.description.abstract Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of the American Psychosomatic Society. Objective The aims of the study were to examine the predictive value of social and emotional loneliness for all-cause mortality in the oldest-old who do and do not live alone and to test whether these varied by functional status and personality. Methods Participants were 413 older adults from the Berlin Aging Study (M [SD] = 84.53 [8.61] years of age) who either lived alone (n = 253) or did not live alone (n = 160). Significance values for hazard ratios are reported having adjusted for age, sex, education, income, marital status, depressive illness, and both social and emotional loneliness. Results Although social loneliness was not associated with mortality in those living alone, emotional loneliness was; with each 1 SD increase in emotional loneliness, there was an 18.6% increased risk of all-cause mortality in the fully adjusted model (HR = 1.186, p =.029). No associations emerged for social or emotional loneliness among those not living alone. Examinations of potential moderators revealed that with each 1 SD increase in functional status, the risk associated with emotional loneliness for all-cause mortality increased by 17.9% (hazard ratio interaction = 1.179, p =.005) in those living alone. No interaction between personality traits with loneliness emerged. Conclusions Emotional loneliness is associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality in older adults who live alone. Functional status was identified as one potential pathway accounting for the adverse consequences of loneliness. Emotional loneliness that can arise out of the loss or absence of a close emotional attachment figure seems to be the toxic component of loneliness. en
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.relation 13 TA 011 12 TA 011/A en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Psychosomatic Medicine;81,pp. 521-526
dc.subject emotional loneliness
dc.subject functional status
dc.subject living alone
dc.subject loneliness
dc.subject mortality
dc.subject social loneliness
dc.title Loneliness, living alone, and all-cause mortality: The role of emotional and social loneliness in the elderly during 19 years of follow-up en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.date.updated 2019-09-09T08:49:59Z
dc.description.version PUBLISHED
dc.identifier.doi 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000710
dc.identifier.doi 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000710
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.internal.rssid 2918101
dc.internal.copyrightchecked Yes
dc.identifier.journaltitle Psychosomatic medicine
dc.description.status peer-reviewed


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