Notable Insights Into Reversing Chronic Diseases
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center (Characteristics of socially isolated patients with coronary artery disease who are at elevated risk for mortality.; Brummett, et al) concluded that social networks reduce deaths in people who have serious medical conditions, in fact adults with coronary artery disease had a 2.4 times higher mortality rate because they were socially isolated.
The study concluded, “Patients with small social networks had an elevated risk of mortality, but this greater risk was not attributable to confounding with disease severity, demographics, or psychological distress. These findings have implications for mechanisms linking social isolation to mortality and for the application of psychosocial interventions.”
The Harvard Study Of Adult Development, also concludes that healthy relationships have a positive effect on heart health.
Another study (Uchino, Cacioppo, & Kiecolt-Glaser, 1996) cited that cardiovascular system would function much better in adults who enjoyed a positive social circle of support.
Social interactions, support of family and regularly partaking in leisure activities have significantly shown a relationship with reductions in blood pressure. Part of this is that human connections help alleviate stress. This study found familial interactions to be most powerful on blood pressure reduction.
Chronic stress is well known to cause a barrage of physical, mental and emotional consequences in the human body and managing it is key, to avoid some of the deadly complications.
Social support is our mind’s defense against stress, providing the necessary coping skills to with life’s stressors.
A New York Times articles reports, “People who are chronically lacking in social contacts are more likely to experience elevated levels of stress and inflammation. These, in turn, can undermine the well-being of nearly every bodily system, including the brain.” “Absent social interactions, blood flow to vital organs is likely to be reduced and immune function may be undermined. Even how genes are expressed can be adversely affected, impairing the body’s ability to turn off inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked to heart disease, arthritis, Type 2 diabetes and even suicide attempts.”
Healthy, happy and fulfilling relationships provide you with emotional support which means that your stress levels are lower, which of course benefits your heart health, too.
Of course, with your stress levels reduced you can rely on a boost to your immune system.
Improved immunity means you are less likely to fall prey to common illnesses and avoid many of the more serious illnesses that old age tends to bring.
It’s amazing what emotional support can do for people who are recovering from surgery or illness.
Psychology Today reports that social connections and strong healthy relationships help reduce risks of dementia.
There is accumulating evidence that socializing is good for the brain, as people with quality relationships and strong social circles perform better on memory tests as well as other various cognitive skills.
As the Harvard Women’s Health Watch reported, “Dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.”
A study of 7,000 men and women (Social networks, host resistance, and mortality; Lisa f. Berkman, s. Leonard Syme) found that “people who were disconnected from others were roughly three times more likely to die during the nine-year study than people with strong social ties.”
Another study (Psychosocial Influences on Mortality after Myocardial Infarction, Ruberman, et al) published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1984 found that of 2,320 male subjects who survived a heart attack those who had the stronger social connections had only a ¼ risk of death within the next three years following the heart attack, versus those who lacked such social ties.
A study on social isolation found that loneliness and social isolation are linked to higher risks of mortality in people ages 52 and older (Social isolation, loneliness, and all-cause mortality in older men and women; Steptoe, et al).
What better way to extend your lifespan that by creating strong relationships. More importantly, a lack of social support increases your risk of illness, both physical and mental.
Positivity and positive emotions have a huge impact on your health. Joyful and happy feelings and state of mind helps reduce stress, and good mood helps you make better lifestyle choices, like eating well and exercising.
In the Harvard Study, it was the happiness and joy in the subject’s relationships that made the main difference in their health.