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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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1
School of Health and Social Services, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. s.j.lagrow@massey.ac.nz

Abstract

AIM:

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.

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

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

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