Principal Investigator: Prof. Marko Elovainio
Department: Health Services Research
National Institute for Health and Welfare, Health Services Research, Mannerheimintie 166, Helsinki 00271, FinlandTags: 14801, mortality, Social relations, social support
Lead Collaborators: 1) Dr Christian Hakulinen
Collaborating Institutions and Addresses:
1) University of Helsinki, Institute of Behavioural Sciences, PL 9 (Siltavuorenpenger 1A), Helsinki, 00014, Finland.
National Institute for Health and Welfare grant for 220,388 EUR
1a: According to the loneliness model of Cacioppo, lonely individuals would (1) engage in poorer health behaviours than others, (2) show altered cardiovascular activation, (3) show chronically elevated levels of hypothalamic pituitary adrenocortical activation, and thus lower glucose tolerance, diminished cortisol regulation, poor sleep and decreased cognitive performance, and (4) report more frequent mental health problems. All these four factors are risk factors for increased cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and mortality. This research projects aims to investigate the association between social isolation and health and test whether pathways including health behaviours, physiological factors, mental health and socioeconomic position would explain the associations
1b: Study aims to provide knowledge how social isolation affects health, which will help to create better prevention programs to heal individuals who are socially isolated.
We will define “social isolation” based on the following UK Biobank questions:
709 Number in household
6141 How are people in household related to participant
1031 Frequency of friend/family visits
6160 Leisure/social activities
2110 Able to confide
An individual will be defined as “socially isolated” if he/she lives alone, doesn’t participate in any social activities and can rarely confide to other people.
1c: The primary analyses will be performed on all-cause mortality and incidence of major diseases (e.g., coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes). In secondary analyses, we will examine whether loneliness is linked with health outcomes (cardiovascular heart disease, diabetes and mortality) through pathways suggested by the loneliness model, including behavioural risks (drinking, smoking, physical activity and diet), physiological risks (blood pressure, obesity, handgrip cholesterol, sleep), mental health (depression and anxiety) and socioeconomic position (education, employment status, income).
Tested using hierarchical regression models, structural equation modeling and bootstrap-models.
1d: Full cohort will be used.