Living Alone Can Be Deadly for People with Heart Problems

by Chris Curley on June 20, 2012

People with heart disease or at very high risk for heart disease die sooner if they’re living alone, Reuters reported June 19.

During a four-year study of 44,000 adults ages 45 to 65, 7.7 percent of those who lived on their own died, compared to only 5.7 percent of those who lived with others, researchers from the Harvard Medical School say. Adults ages 66 to 80 who lived alone also saw a similar, though less dramatic, increased death risk compared to their peers who lived communally.

If you live alone, don’t ignore changes you perceive in your health, even if they seem small and you feel bad imposing on others to check on your symptoms, says lead researcher Deepak Bhatt, M.D. “Perhaps just lower your threshold a little bit and realize it’s better to call (the doctor) than not to call,” he says.

The study appears online in the Archives of Internal Medicine.