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Do feelings of loneliness pose health risks?

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Air date: December 9, 2012

Host: Steve Bogdewic, PhD

Aging Healthcare Policy & Public Health Mental Health Patient Care
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Interview: Carla Perissinotto, M.D., M.H.S., assistant professor in the UCSF Division of Geriatrics.

Are you feeling isolated or left out? Even people who are married or have a companion may feel lonely. Carla Perissinotto, M.D., MHS, an assistant professor in the University of California, San Francisco Division of Geriatrics, found that loneliness leads to a decline in functioning and even death. Perissinotto's research is leading her to explore options and services that could help prevent this. The researchers used a three-item loneliness questionnaire to assess loneliness and classify individuals based on their subjective feelings. Perissinotto describes how to connect older adults socially, including evaluating an individual’s lifestyle and finding suitable social connections.

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