Loneliness and Social Isolation Are Hidden Threats to the Heart

Feeling disconnected from friends and family has the same impact as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day, says the United States surgeon general.


Isolation imposed during the COVID‑19 pandemic forced millions of people to experience deep loneliness for the first time. The emotion is all too familiar to others, however, who have no meaningful contact with other humans on a daily basis. According to United States Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, 49% of adults in the U.S. said they felt lonely even before the pandemic began.

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