Despite the ability to connect to virtually anyone on the planet through technology today; many people will tell you they still feel lonely. So lonely, in fact, that the US Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, is calling it an epidemic.
Just a few days ago, on November 8, Murthy spoke to students on the University of Texas campus, in Austin, telling them "More than half the people in our country are struggling with loneliness. It has real implications for our mental health and for our physical health.”
Here in Ohio, Bowling Green State University Associate Psychology Professor, Dr. Daniel Maitland, wants to do something about that, through a study aimed tracking the actual physical impact of loneliness on cardiovascular health. To further that goal; he recently received a $710 thousand dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Maitland, who says that though loneliness is a health risk for people of all ages in the US; in particular these days, it is young people, between the ages of 18 and 25, who feel the most lonely.
In addition, because there is some data to suggest that loneliness has the same effect on heart health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day; the lonely young people of today, have a very real risk of becoming the heart attack victims of tomorrow.
Find out why. Listen now.
Dr. Daniel Maitland, Bowling Green State University