At the end of this decade, there will be 25% of the Spanish and European population over the age of 65. The risk of social isolation increases with age due to important factors such as widowhood and retirement.
Over the past ten years, people in our country in a state of unwanted loneliness have gone from 9% to about 12%., which means over-consumption of drugs or excessive absence from work. However, this problem is seen Also in youth aged 18 to 25, older adults, women, and people with low incomesEspecially as a result of Covid-19.
As revealed by the American Heart Association in the Journal of the American Heart Association, Social isolation and loneliness are associated with a 30% increased risk of myocardial infarction or stroke, or of dying from this cause.
“Research over four decades has clearly shown that both social isolation and loneliness are associated with adverse health outcomes. Given the prevalence of social disruption, the public health impact is considerable,” said Kristal Willie Sene, Scientific Statement Writing Group and professor of clinical medicine at the University of California San Diego Health.
According to their findings, Lack of social interaction is associated with an increased risk of premature death from all causes, especially in men, In addition, it is associated with elevated inflammatory markers, and individuals alone are more likely to experience the physical symptoms of chronic stress.
They have also found that social isolation in childhood Associated with an increase in cardiovascular risk factors in adulthood, such as obesity, high blood pressure and increased blood glucose levels, Socio-environmental factors such as transportation, living conditions, dissatisfaction with family ties, epidemics and natural disasters also affect social relations.
Countries such as Canada or the United Kingdom have already begun to act against loneliness, planning campaigns and other specific policies to combat it, and have also measured the economic cost of not addressing it: per capita in the British case. Year around 10,000 euros. ,
in spainMatilde Fernández, the former Socialist Minister for Social Affairs, has chaired the Observatory Against Unwanted Loneliness since April, Promoted by the Once Foundation. For Fernandez, if we do not take this unwanted problem “without a doubt”, it can become a serious disease for the society. «Unfortunately it will go into depression, from loneliness to isolation and a very deep isolation and loneliness of people sometimes ends with the death of those who are alone; In a civilized society we cannot allow ourselves to find out about the death of some neighbours, late and badly,” he lamented.
«Instead of a pill for suffering, it is necessary to facilitate attendance at the theater, cinema or a concert; Bringing culture into the neighborhood is a very effective way to turn a strategic plan into something very useful», proposes a specialist in social affairs.
Matilda Fernández is committed to “open and useful facilities for all”, especially facing centers for the elderly or young people or for women built in recent decades. Because unwanted loneliness has the face of a woman and an older man, it affects more and more young people and does not differentiate between social strata or socio-cultural regions.