Bonding With Others May Be Crucial for Long-Term Health

Group Of High School Students Giving Piggybacks In Corridor

Group Of High School Students Giving Piggybacks In Corridor

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Social ties are as important to your long-term health as exercise and healthy eating, a new study suggests.

“Our analysis makes it clear that doctors, clinicians, and other health workers should redouble their efforts to help the public understand how important strong social bonds are throughout the course of all of our lives,” study co-author Yang Claire Yang, a professor at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, said in a university news release.

For the study, the investigators analyzed data from four surveys of Americans who ranged from adolescents to seniors. First, they looked at social integration, social support and social strain. They then evaluated four indicators of health — blood pressure, waist circumference, body mass index and systemic inflammation — that are linked to heart disease, stroke, cancer and other diseases

The more social ties people had at a young age, the better their health early and late in life, the researchers found.

The study was published Jan. 4 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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