Loneliness kills?

I find the results of this study hard to believe:

It’s true—you might die of loneliness, but not until you’re older.

In a new University of Chicago study of men and women 50 to 68 years old, those who scored highest on measures of loneliness also had higher blood pressure. And high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, the number one killer in many industrialized nations and number two the United States.

Lonely people have blood pressure readings as much as 30 points higher than non-lonely people, said the study leaders Louise Hawkley and Christopher Masi. Blood pressure differences between lonely and non-lonely people were smallest at age 50 and greatest among the oldest people tested.

Loneliness raises blood pressure? Personally, I find myself far less stressed when I am alone than when I am with other people. But then, I typically find other people very annoying. If you ever spend time with me, you’ll get to hear me gripe about it.