Behavior: Loneliness Can Kill You

Companionship as preventive medicine

Health studies have long shown that single, widowed and divorced people are far likelier prey to disease than married folk. Some examples: the coronary death rate among widows between 25 and 34 is five times that of married women in the same age group. At all ages, the divorced are twice as likely as the married to develop lung cancer or suffer a stroke. Among divorced white males, cirrhosis of the liver is seven times more common, and tuberculosis ten times more common.

Why should it be so? To Psychologist James...

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