Loneliness and social isolation increase cancer incidence in men

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The findings suggest that regardless of the social network size, loneliness among middle-aged men is associated with an increased likelihood of cancer. Photo: Pexels


(Science Direct) — Globally, cancer is the second leading cause of death. Loneliness has been suggested as a risk factor for cancer mortality. However, connections between loneliness, social isolation, and cancer are poorly understood.

In our longitudinal study (mean follow-up: 20.44 years) of 2570 middle-aged men, loneliness, social isolation, and health-related factors were measured at baseline. Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to examine the association between cancer incidence, loneliness, and social isolation.

The effect of relationship status on cancer mortality among cancer patients was tested with the Kaplan-Meier method. Loneliness was associated with total cancer incidence after adjustments for tested lifestyle and health-related covariates. (…)

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