Because being lonely isn't awful enough, there is now hard evidence that it's breaking your heart. Literally.
Researchers have discovered that loneliness increases a person's chances of heart attack and stroke. The researchers looked at 23 studies with a total of 181,006 participants and determined that those who were unhappy with their social relationships were 29% more likely to develop coronary heart disease and 32% more likely to have a stroke, compared to those who felt their relationships were strong.
These rates make loneliness the one of the highest threats for cardiovascular disease, right near anxiety and job strain.
The study didn't find any disparity between gender.
Loneliness, according to the researchers, can affect us in a whole slew of ways, ranging from physical to psychological. Those who feel socially isolated, argued the scientists, would most likely be less physically active and have poor eating habits. More seriously, loneliness has been linked to anxiety, poor stress-handling and depression.
Whether or not a bottle of wine counts as friendship was unconfirmed.