Written by Carla M. Perissinotto, Irena Stijacic Cenzer, and Kenneth E. Covinsk -- of the Division of Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (Perissinotto, Covinsky, and Stijacic Cenzer), and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco (Covinsky) -- the paper looked at loneliness in adults older than 60 years of age in the United States, along with functional decline and death.
The American researchers studied 1,604 participants, with an average age of 71 years, within the Health and Retirement Study.
Women made up 59& of the subjects, whites 81%, blacks 11%, and Hispanics 6%. Eighteen percent lived alone.
The study went from 2002 to 2008, with assessments every two years.
They asked their participants, "if they (1) feel left out, (2) feel isolated, or (3) lack companionship. Subjects were categorized as not lonely if they responded hardly ever to all 3 questions and lonely if they responded some of the time or often to any of the 3 questions."
The researchers found, "Among the elderly participants, 43% reported feeling lonely."
Page two concludes with more results and the researchers conclusion.