I have some really, really good friends in my life.
An 18-month -younger sister who is pretty much my soul mate and sister all rolled up in one. But when it comes to who is always – always – my closest confidant, my shoulder to cry on, my cheerleader, my financial advisor, my one-stop-shop for all the emotional support I could ever need, my mum tops the list.
And I don’t think I am alone in feeling like this at all. Mums are the best.
And if it has been a while since you last made it home to see yours – or had her over for Sunday dinner, this study will probably prompt you to pick up the phone straight away.
According to a study at the University of California, San Francisco, researchers found that loneliness plays a large role in the decline so often associated with old age – increasing both the risk of depression, cognitive impairment and health problems like coronary artery disease, conditions that may even lead to an earlier death.
The study, which followed 1,600 adults, with an average age of 71 -found that the lonely consistently held higher mortality rates, despite controlling for socioeconomic status and health. In fact, nearly 23% of lonely participants died within six years of the study, as opposed to only 14% of those that reported adequate companionship.
As well as this, another study, published in the journal PLoS Medicine, found that social ties can be as important to extending life as losing weight if you are obese and getting active if you are sedentary.
Go on, call your mum. And granny. And mother-in-law too.