A study on loneliness suggests that introverts or people who are normally not sociable stand a higher risk of dying as compared to their peers with opposite behavioral traits.
According to the study, lonely people risk dying earlier than even those suffering from obesity - an abnormal condition resulting from excess fat in the body.
Experts say the risk of having socially isolated people dead is 50 percent higher than that of extroverts.
After looking into about 218 different studies in the US which focused on the health effects of loneliness, researchers discovered that social isolation is more deadly than obesity.
Speaking on the surprising findings, lead author and professor of psychology at Brigham Young University, Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, said socialization is a crucial part of human need, and constitutes a very important part of human survival.
According to her, the situation is even worse when it comes to infants, stating - as quoted by the New York Post - that "infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die, and indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment."
She added that "there is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase risk for premature mortality, and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators."
The study further indicated that those suffering from obesity have just a 30 percent chance of death - a rate that is dwarfed by the projected 50 percent for lonely people.
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