Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Unit of Psychiatric Epidemiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Wallinsgatan 6, 431 41, Mölndal, Sweden. firstname.lastname@example.org.
This study examined whether loneliness predicts cardiovascular- and all-cause mortality in older men and women.
Baseline data from the Gothenburg H70 Birth Cohort Studies, collected during 2000 on 70-year-olds born 1930 and living in Gothenburg were used for analysis (n?=?524). Mortality data were analyzed until 2012 through Swedish national registers.
Perceived loneliness was reported by 17.1% of the men and 30.9% of the women in a face-to-face interview with mental health professional. A total of 142 participants died during the 12-year follow-up period, with 5334 person-years at risk, corresponding to 26.6 deaths/1000 person-years. Cardiovascular disease accounted for 59.2% of all deaths. The cumulative rates/1000 person-years for cardiovascular mortality were 20.8 (men) and 11.5 (women), and for all-cause mortality 33.8 (men) and 20.5 (women), respectively. In Cox regression models, no significant increased risk of mortality was seen for men with loneliness compared to men without loneliness (cardiovascular mortality HR 1.52, 95% CI 0.78-2.96; all-cause HR 1.32, 95% CI 0.77-2.28). Increased risk of cardiovascular mortality was observed in women with loneliness compared to those without (HR 2.25 95% CI 1.14-4.45), and the risk remained significant in a multivariable-adjusted model (HR 2.42 95% CI 1.04-5.65).
Loneliness was shown to be an independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality in women. We found no evidence to indicate that loneliness was associated with an increased risk of either cardiovascular- or all-cause mortality in men.