Loneliness is a social cancer, every bit as alarming as cancer itself

First, loneliness is a killer. An influential meta-analysis, which collated and analysed the results of nearly 150 studies, underlines the impact on health of loneliness, or more specifically, lack of social integration and social support.  It found loneliness increases the risk of death more than such things as poor diet, obesity, alcohol consumption, and lack of exercise, and that it is as harmful as heavy smoking.

Who's feeling lonely?
The most striking finding from the Australia Talks national survey is simply how pervasive loneliness is in Australia today. Indeed, only half (54 per cent) of participants reported "rarely" or "never" feeling lonely.

The survey also finds loneliness is a particular challenge for certain sections of the community. Of these, four stand out read more