Loneliness Contributes to Bad Health

Loneliness Contributes to Bad Health

Medical science has now shown that loneliness contributes to bad health. One of the benefits of being a Christian is what the Bible calls “koinonia.” That Greek word can be translated “fellowship” or “communion.” In Acts 2:42, the first-century Church met in constant fellowship, and Hebrews 10:25 urged Christians not to forsake gathering together. We see in the scriptures that Christ’s disciples were together constantly. Today, fellowship with people who share your values and beliefs is a significant contributor to good health. 

A study of 18,000 diabetic adults in the United Kingdom showed that “loneliness may be a bigger risk for heart disease in diabetes patients than a bad diet, smoking or a lack of exercise or depression.” Researchers found that over ten years, the chance of developing cardiovascular disease was up to 26% higher in patients with high loneliness scores. Dr. Lu Qi, a professor at Tulane University, said, “We should not downplay the importance of loneliness on physical and emotional health. I encourage my patients with diabetes who feel lonely to join a group or class and try to make friends with people who have shared interests.” 

God’s statement that “it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18) should not be restricted to the marriage relationship. Loneliness contributes to bad health, and God knows what humans need for good health. I have observed that men who lose their wives and live alone have a reduced life expectancy, but the Church provides a remedy for that loneliness. On a personal note, I remember vividly the negative effect my wife’s death had on my health. My relationship with other Christians in the months following her death has contributed to my living to see my 85th birthday. 

— John N. Clayton © 2023

Reference: “Insider Report” from Yahoo News for June 2023.