Noreena on Minnesota Public Radio

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How loneliness affects our health — and what we can do.

Loneliness has been called an epidemic in American life. One in three Americans reported “serious loneliness” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Loneliness can have profound impacts on our mental and physical health. And the problem can be particularly difficult for older adults. One study found that nearly half of seniors feel lonely on a regular basis. That can increase their risk of dementia, depression and early death.

One of the common factors contributing to loneliness among older adults is hearing loss. Studies have linked hearing loss with increased isolation and cognitive decline.

Guest host Chris Farrell explored the causes of loneliness, how it affects us and what we can do about it.