Researchers from King’s College in London have found that loneliness could be a contributing risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D) later in life.
Loneliness is a negative emotion that occurs when an individual perceives that their social needs are not being met. It reflects an imbalance between desired and actual social relationships. Loneliness is not the same thing as depression.
In examining data collected from more than 4,100 adults over the age of 50, the researchers also found that the lonelier a person is, the greater their risk of developing T2D.
Further studies are required to understand the causal nature of the relationship.
Prevention strategies should focus on supporting improvements in the quality of social relationships.