The physical and mental health consequences of social isolation and loneliness in the context of COVID-19
Current Opinion in Psychiatry
Purpose of reviewSocial isolation and loneliness are known contributors to all-cause mortality as well as a range of physical and mental health conditions. Therefore, this article reviews current literature pertaining to the effects of social isolation and loneliness on physical and mental health during the current COVID-19 pandemic.Recent findingsSocial isolation and loneliness contribute to a myriad of physical and mental health conditions. Specifically social isolation and loneliness contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and cancer. However, most research indicated that poor lifestyle factors explained most of the association. Social isolation and loneliness are also associated with cognitive problems including dementia, immune system problems, and mental health conditions. Further social isolation and loneliness also spur behavioral issues that significantly affect physical and mental health.SummaryEvidence suggests that social isolation and loneliness have significant consequences on the physical and mental health of the individual and that the move toward ending all protections against COVID-19 has significant implications for the vulnerable. Further the similarities between the effects of social isolation and loneliness are compared to some of the conditions evident in long-COVID.
Open Access Status
This publication is not available as open access