Not having adequate social relationships as bad for health as smoking

Not having adequate social relationships as bad for health as smokingU. S. researchers have said that not having adequate social relationships can be as bad for health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, being an alcoholic or not exercising.

It has been reported that Julianne Holt-Lunstad of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and colleagues analyzed data from 148 studies involving 308,849 individuals who were tracked for an average of 7.5 years.

Published in the journal PLoS Medicine, the study finds lack of social connections, friends, family, neighbors or colleagues, can be as harmful as not exercising and twice as harmful as obesity.

Holt-Lunstad says in a statement, "When someone is connected to a group and feels responsibility for other people that sense of purpose and meaning translates to taking better care of themselves and taking fewer risks. This effect is not isolated to older adults, relationships provide a level of protection across all ages." (With Inputs from Agencies)