Young people in America are reporting loneliness and poor health more than the elderly people, according to a new survey. The number of youngsters reporting the problem is increasing at a fast pace. The survey was conducted among 20,000 Americans.
The fact that the overall national loneliness score has reached the highest score of 44 at 20-80 scale it is a cause for concern. But, the score is still alarmingly high for the age group of 18 to 22 due to social isolation. The younger Americans belonging to generation Z had the loneliness score at 48 whereas it was reported as 39 for people belonging to the age 72 and above.
The survey was sponsored by Cigna, the global insurer, and health services company. Cigna believes loneliness is a social problem as it can make people literally sick. Cigna says loneliness is riskier than obesity and the effect on mortality is similar to smoking more than 15 cigarettes a day, citing a report published in 2010. The new findings did not show any direct link with increasing rates of suicide among teenagers or the use of opioids.
According to Cigna CEO David Cordani dealing with loneliness will help in solving other issues. Cordani said that if the young people develop a more positive sense of health they will become less destructive. He also said that meaningful social interaction is the key to reduce isolation.