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Health Fusion: How social isolation increases risk of disease and death

Here's another reason to visit your grandparents or the elderly neighbor down the street. Social isolation may increase their risk of disease and death. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams looks at a new study that connects isolation with how the body functions.

The COVID-19 shutdown prompted researchers to look at what social isolation does to the human mind and body. And information confirming that it's bad for people seems ever-expanding.

Experts from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that older US adults who experienced social isolation had higher blood levels of two substances that signal inflammation: interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein. And inflammation can have long-term, negative consequences for your health as you age.

Dr. Thomas K.M. Cudjoe, the lead author of the study , says that their information shows an important connection between isolation and the human body. Its helping them unravel how being alone leads to increased disease and death. He adds that he hopes their work will lead to more discoveries about how social isolation influences human health.

The study is published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at vwilliams@newsmd.com . Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

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