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New study shows loneliness is contagious

December 1, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
If you're lonely, you could soon have company. A new study shows loneliness is contagious.Researchers at the University of Chicago found that loneliness can spread to others, increasing everybody's risk for feelings of loneliness.

They found that the average person experiences loneliness about 48 days a year. But having a lonely friend can add 17 days of loneliness annually.

By comparison, every additional friend can decrease loneliness about 5 percent, which translates to about two and a half fewer lonely days a year.

One suggestion to combat loneliness is to take a chance and try to meet a new group of friends who could offer you a new perspective.


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