Health and Welbeing
Loneliness leads to depression – Finnish study show
Friday, 23 March 2012
People living alone face an 80-percent higher risk of falling into
depression compared to those who live in the company of others,
according to fresh findings by Finnish researchers.
The researchers monitored purchases of anti-depressants among 3,500
people of working age over seven years. The study found that 25 percent
of those living alone bought medicine to treat depression during that
time, while the same was true of 15 percent of people who shared
accommodation with others.
Women turned to anti-depressants due to unemployment and deficiencies
in their living conditions, among other reasons. For men, the need for
meds often stemmed from a lack of friends and dissatisfaction with
their jobs. Oftentimes, men living alone also tended to consume too
The study could not rule out the possibility that those who were
depressed chose to live alone and so started buying anti-depressants.
The researchers stressed that attention should be devoted to the
substantial increase in single living and its effects on health.
In Finland, the number of people living alone has doubled over the past
two decades, currently standing at over one million. According to
estimates, single-person households will make up half of all Finnish
households by 2020.
The University of Helsinki carried out the research in conjunction with
the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and the National Institute
for Health and Welfare. The findings will be published in the BMC
Public Health journal on Friday.
Source: Yle Finland
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