Campus News

Costs of loneliness

Loneliness is a “public health hazard” with long-term consequences for those who suffer from it, according to a story from The Washington Post.

Scientists are even finding that loneliness can affect the human genome. Kerstin Gerst Emerson, an assistant professor of health policy and management at UGA’s Institute of Gerontology, said it’s time for the U.S. to pay more attention to this issue.

“In public health, we talk all the time about obesity and smoking and have all these interventions but not about people who are lonely and socially isolated,” Emerson told The Washington Post. “There are really tangible, terrible outcomes. Lonely people are dying, they’re less healthy and they are costing our society more.”