Every first and third Wednesday of the month, The Straits Times helps you make sense of health matters that affect you.

Loneliness is toxic. It is associated with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep issues and stress. It can also shorten your life. New research from the Duke-NUS Medical school in Singapore and Nihon University in Tokyo has found that lonely older adults can expect to live a shorter life than their peers who don’t perceive themselves as lonely. Their health would also be affected. The study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society on July 7.

In this episode, ST senior health correspondent Joyce Teo asks Assistant Professor Rahul Malhotra, lead author of the study and the head of research at the Centre for Ageing Research and Education at Duke-NUS, to tell us more about loneliness.

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