Sunday, June 19, 2005

Elderly with friends live longer

New Scientist says:
Close friends make longer life more likely

Friends, not family, are the key to a longer life, a new study suggests. ...

The new study followed almost 1500 Australians, initially aged over 70. Those who at the start reported regular close personal or phone contact with five or more friends were 22% less likely to die in the next decade than those who had reported fewer, more-distant friends. But the presence or absence of close ties with children or other relatives had no impact on survival. ...

It is possible that close connections with friends might have a positive physiological effect on the body, in contrast to the negative effect caused by stress, adds Carlos Mendes de Leon of the Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, US, in an editorial accompanying the paper.
I think that it is more likely that sick and dying old people are abandoned by their friends. The healthy ones have a lot more friends.

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