The results of the study indicate that it is close people who can more than halve the risk of death.
Many proverbs seemed to hint to us that friends are extremely important not only for our social life, but also for physical and psychological health. Now, researchers have finally found scientific confirmation of this, writes The Telegraph.
A new study by scientists at Sichuan University’s West China Hospital has shown that regular contact with friends, especially at an older age, can help increase our life expectancy.
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The results of the study show that for people over the age of 80, daily contact with friends more than halves the risk of death in the next five years compared to those who did not keep in touch with friends.
For example, scientists found that one in five of those who avoided social contact died within the next 5 years. At the same time, among those who led an active daily social life, only 1 out of 14 people died. Curiously, even those who only occasionally spent time with friends reduced their risk of death to 1 in 11, while those who kept in touch once a week reduced their risk to 1 in 13.
Scientists note that they have found this connection between communicating with friends and the ability to live longer, but still do not fully understand how it works. At the same time, the researchers suggest that a large number of friends can probably contribute to a healthier lifestyle, as well as high physical activity and reduced stress. Curiously, this found association persisted even when a number of other factors, such as health or wealth, were taken into account, which could prevent people from leaving their homes.
Older research suggests that people over the age of 75 often lead a very closed life and rarely maintain relationships with friends, pals, or even neighbors. However, scientists now believe that this negatively affects our life expectancy.
Previous research also suggests that loneliness is not just an emotional state of mind, but can actually trigger a range of genetic changes that can lead to disease or early death.
Note that in the new study, scientists used data from recipients enrolled in the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Lifespan Study, which started in 1998 and is still ongoing.
The researchers note that the results suggest that daily interaction with friends actually has a much greater impact than weekly or casual meetings with friends, and therefore we should reconsider our attitude to social life.
Previously, Focus wrote that scientists told how long it takes to become true friends.
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