At the 111th Annual General Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA), in Washington D.C., USA, Researchers from the Dalla Lana school of public health at the University of Toronto, Canada has presented their findings which revealed that only family can lower mortality risk in later life.Lead Author, James Iveniuk and colleagues also found that older adults who have more family members and who are closer to their family have a lower risk of death, though the same link could not be made with friends. According to a 2010 study from the AARP previously the American Association of Retired Persons, around 32 percent of adults aged 60-69 and 25 percent of adults aged 70 and older report feeling lonely, and these individuals are more likely to report poor health than non-lonely adults. The study results revealed that participants who reported feeling “extremely close” to non-spousal family members within their list of closest confidants had around a 6 percent risk of death over the following 5 years, while those who reported feeling “not very close” to non-spousal relatives had a 14 percent risk of death. The researchers found participants who listed more family members than friends as their closest confidants had a lower risk of death during the subsequent 5 years, regardless of their feelings of closeness.

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