Loneliness now considered a big risk in premature death

Texting and driving, heart disease and obesity are all scary things that can lead to premature death.

But, a new study reveals there's another threat out there that's even bigger than the threat of obesity.

An analysis out of Brigham Young University says loneliness and social isolation could increase the risk of premature death by almost 50 percent.

The study looked at previous studies involving nearly three and a half million adults. Research was presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

According to AARP, around 42 million adults over the age of 45 could be suffering from chronic loneliness. That's due to more and more people living alone, marrying less and having less children.

Medical News Today reports loneliness and social isolation are actually different. Loneliness is the feeling of being emotionally disconnected, while social isolation is an actual lack of contact with other people.

The study suggests that social connectedness should be used in medical screenings to catch symptoms of loneliness.

RELATED: Stroke risk factors and stroke symptoms

Stroke risk factors and stroke symptoms
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Stroke risk factors and stroke symptoms

Strokes are more common among the elderly, with the chance of stroke nearly doubling each decade after the age of 55. 

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Stroke risk is greater in those whose immediate family members have had a stroke, and a stroke can be a symptom of various hereditary disorders.

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The risk of death from stroke is higher in African-Americans as they also have higher risks of complications like high blood pressure and diabetes. 

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Women are also more likely to die of a stroke, possibly due to factors such as birth control usage and pregnancy complications.

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Strokes are more likely in people who have already suffered a stroke or a heart attack. 

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Southeastern states are also called the "stroke belt" states, as strokes are more common in this area. 

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Alcohol abuse can lead to many problems, including strokes. 

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Speech difficulties are a major symptom of someone who has had or is having a stroke.

(Photo by Henrik Sorensen via Getty)

Possibly the most noticeable sign of stroke is the drooping of one side of the face, or face numbness.

(Photo via Getty)

Weakness on one side of the body is another symptom of a stroke. 

(Photo via Getty)


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