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Australas J Ageing. 2012 Jun;31(2):121-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-6612.2011.00568.x. Epub 2012 May 11.

Loneliness and self-reported health among older persons in New Zealand.

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School of Health and Social Services, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.



The purpose of this study was to identify the rate, degree and impact of loneliness in a sample of 332 older community-dwelling New Zealanders.


A cross-sectional survey was used to collect self-reported data on loneliness, physical and mental health, age, sex and marital status. Eight per cent of the sample was found to be severely lonely, 44% moderately lonely and 48% not lonely. Participants were assigned to three groups by level of loneliness and compared on age, sex, marital status and health.


The groups were found to differ on physical (F [2,329] = 5.3, P = 0.006) and mental health (F [2,329] = 13.7, P < 0.001) but not on age, sex or marital status.


Those who were in the severely and moderately lonely groups scored lower on both health measures than those in the not lonely group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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