Social Neuroscience: People Need People

Science daily articles
Living Alone Associated With Higher Risk of Mortality, Cardiovascular Death
Loneliness in Older Individuals Linked to Functional Decline, Death

The REduction of Atherothrombosis for Continued Health (REACH) Registry: an international, prospective, observational investigation in subjects at risk for atherothrombotic events-study design.
Ohman EM, Bhatt DL, Steg PG, Goto S, Hirsch AT, Liau CS, Mas JL, Richard AJ, Röther J, Wilson PW; REACH Registry Investigators.
Source

Division of Cardiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA. ohman001@mc.duke.edu
Abstract
BACKGROUND:

The risk of atherothrombosis is a large health care burden worldwide. With its global prevalence, there is a need to understand all the associated risk factors, both old and new, and their interdependencies in the development of this complex disease leading to myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, and vascular death and, thus, the major cause of mortality throughout the world.
METHODS:

The REACH Registry sought to compile an international data set to extend our knowledge of atherothrombotic risk factors and ischemic events in the outpatient setting. The Registry will recruit approximately 68,000 outpatients in 44 countries across 6 major regions (Latin America, North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia) from >5000 physician outpatient practices. Patients aged > or =45 years with at least 3 atherothrombotic risk factors or documented cerebrovascular, coronary artery, or peripheral arterial disease will be enrolled. Medical history, risk factors, demographic information, and management will be collected at baseline, and clinical events that occur during the follow-up period of up to 2 years in duration will be recorded.
CONCLUSION:

The REACH Registry offers an opportunity to provide a better understanding of the prevalence and clinical consequences of atherothrombosis in the outpatient setting in a wide range of patients from different parts of the world.

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Loneliness in Older Persons: A Predictor of Functional Decline and Death
Carla M. Perissinotto, MD, MHS; Irena Stijacic Cenzer, MA; Kenneth E. Covinsky, MD, MPH

Background Loneliness is a common source of distress, suffering, and impaired quality of life in older persons. We examined the relationship between loneliness, functional decline, and death in adults older than 60 years in the United States.

Methods This is a longitudinal cohort study of 1604 participants in the psychosocial module of the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative study of older persons. Baseline assessment was in 2002 and follow-up assessments occurred every 2 years until 2008. Subjects were asked 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 primary outcomes were time to death over 6 years and functional decline over 6 years on the following 4 measures: difficulty on an increased number of activities of daily living (ADL), difficulty in an increased number of upper extremity tasks, decline in mobility, or increased difficulty in stair climbing. Multivariate analyses adjusted for demographic variables, socioeconomic status, living situation, depression, and various medical conditions.

Results The mean age of subjects was 71 years. Fifty-nine percent were women; 81% were white, 11%, black, and 6%, Hispanic; and 18% lived alone. Among the elderly participants, 43% reported feeling lonely. Loneliness was associated with all outcome measures. Lonely subjects were more likely to experience decline in ADL (24.8% vs 12.5%; adjusted risk ratio [RR], 1.59; 95% CI, 1.23-2.07); develop difficulties with upper extremity tasks (41.5% vs 28.3%; adjusted RR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.08-1.52); experience decline in mobility (38.1% vs 29.4%; adjusted RR, 1.18; 95% CI, 0.99-1.41); or experience difficulty in climbing (40.8% vs 27.9%; adjusted RR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.10-1.57). Loneliness was associated with an increased risk of death (22.8% vs 14.2%; adjusted HR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.11-1.88).

Conclusion Among participants who were older than 60 years, loneliness was a predictor of functional decline and death.

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