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A study by the British Red Cross found that 9 million people in Britain feel often or regularly lonely – that’s a fifth of the population – according to research by the Co-operative Group.
A poll for The Herald by BMG Research found just 27 per cent of over-65s admitted to feeling lonely from time to time, or more often, compared with 59 per cent of people in the 16-34 age group.
Analysis by Age UK found that 3.9 million people over 65 say their main form of company is the TV.
People who are lonely are 50% more likely to develop dementia a recent study by Loughborough University found.
A recent NHS survey has again highlighted the high levels of mental distress among adolescent girls. The research shows that 24 per cent of girls aged 14 now feel so lonely, distressed and unloved that their symptoms qualify them for a diagnosis of depression. This is double the rate reported in 2007.
A 2015 study carried out in Utah memorably compared the health risks from loneliness to the harm suffered by someone who smokes 15 cigarettes a day. Other studies have claimed it is more deadly than obesity.