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Loneliness as a Global Health Threat

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared loneliness as a pressing global health threat.

More about the news

  • Loneliness is equated to having a mortality effect equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, emphasizing its serious health impact.
  • The social and economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic have severely affected social connections, contributing to increased loneliness worldwide.
  • To address this issue, WHO has launched a new commission focused on loneliness. Its objective is to develop comprehensive strategies, including promoting social connections and formulating policies to mitigate the effects of loneliness.
  • The absence of strong social connections increases the risk of early death. Loneliness is associated with a higher risk of stroke, anxiety, dementia, depression, and suicide.
  • Social isolation and loneliness can lead to poor economic and educational outcomes.


Loneliness in the Indian Context

  • India’s diverse population and vast socioeconomic disparities contribute to feelings of isolation among its citizens.
  • The prevalence of nuclear families can increase loneliness, particularly among the elderly who may lack familial support.
  • Overreliance on social media can lead to superficial relationships and a sense of disconnection, especially among young people.
  • The pursuit of instant gratification in the digital age may contribute to feelings of isolation among the younger generation.

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