It is a known fact that social isolation and loneliness affects the physical health of a person. But do these affect men and women in different ways? Yes, they do as per a new study by a group of researchers at the University of British Columbia. They found that women are more prone to social isolation and loneliness, placing them at higher risk of hypertension.
The researchers noted that women in their middle and old age, lacking social contacts, are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure than men of the same age group. The study has come up in Journal of Hypertension. High Blood pressure is the largest villain and a known factor for mortality among older adults.
The researchers used the data of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. They analyzed the social ties of 28,238 adults who were aged between 45 and 85. The authors of the study said that they found that older women who had no partners and engaged in fewer than three social activities a month had higher odds of hypertension. They found that systolic blood pressure was highest among widowed, socially inactive and lonely living women.
However, this was not the same with men. It was found that single men who shared a home with others and had a large social network were at risk of high blood pressure. On the contrary, men living alone and who had smaller networks had lower blood pressure.
The authors maintained that their study has shown how social distancing and loneliness could affect the mental health of women. They noted that the study would help the health care workers who work with older women having hypertension. Taking note of the social distancing restriction due to Covid 19, they noted that health care workers should encourage older women to find new ways of social interactions.