Daily Archives: March 7, 2011

How Important Is Social Connection?

How important is social connection to our life?  There is a biology of social connection according to Henry S. Lodge, M.D., one of the authors of Younger Next Year and Younger Next Year For Women.

We’ve all probably heard the concept of this, but here, ‘Harry’ brings in information from studies about it all.  Without going into statistical detail, I’ll just say that he proves the point that we need to stay connected to other people in a big way, for a better quality of physical life not to mention longevity of our life.

Having at least one close friend, has been proven statistically to create a younger cardiovascular system.  Blood vessels are measurably more elastic, cardiac reserve is higher, cardiac inflammatory protein levels are lower, blood pressure response to exercise better, and so on.

Also, people who are more connected have measurably healthier stress blood profiles, less cortisol, less inflammation, less insulin and lower blood sugar.   By way of cardiac catheterization studies, it was proven that women who are less socially connected have more plaque in their arteries.  Also, they will have fewer circulating immune cells in their blood and weaker immune responses to vaccines.

This isn’t just for us as we age, because it has been proven to be so for newborns.  The more a baby is touched and held the better.  This is especially true in the neonatal ICU.  The more touching and holding the better chance of survival for those at-risk newborns.

Well, this is a little different than most of my posts, but I feel it is good information for all of us.  Perhaps you already know and understand the importance of these concepts.  Good for you.  However, if this is new information, I’m glad to have shown you this.  Perhaps you want to look further into it.

The important thing is the concept of staying engaged in life.  Make connections.  Meet new people.  Join new groups.  Do new stuff.  Then you won’t have to worry about consequences listed above.

Let me know your thoughts.