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Loneliness hurts not just men's mental health — it may hurt their bones, too, study suggests

Loneliness is not just bad for men’s mental health — it may be bad for their bones, too, according to a new study. 

And while social isolation may have a negative impact on the bone health of men, this is not true of women, the researchers found. 

Dr. Rebecca Mountain, of Maine Health Institute for Research in Scarborough, Maine, was lead researcher on the study, as multiple outlets reported.

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Social isolation, she also said, is associated with an increased risk for many health conditions, including mental disorders, as well as higher overall rates of illness and death.

Social isolation is associated with an increased risk for many health conditions, including mental disorders. 

depressed man

Social isolation caused significant reductions in bone quality, including reduced bone mineral density, in the male mice but not the female mice, a new study out of Maine Health reported. (iStock)

In the study, researchers exposed adult mice to social isolation — meaning one mouse per cage — or grouped housing, with four mice per cage — for four weeks.

The scientists found that social isolation caused significant reductions in bone quality, including reduced bone mineral density, in the male mice — but not the female mice.

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lonely man

Said the lead researcher of a new study on loneliness, “Our work provides critical insight into the effects of isolation on bone and has key clinical implications as we grapple with the long-term health impacts of the rise in social isolation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”  (iStock)

She also said, “Our work provides critical insight into the effects of isolation on bone and has key clinical implications as we grapple with the long-term health impacts of the rise in social isolation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

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The Endocrine Society is a global community of physicians and scientists “dedicated to accelerating scientific breakthroughs and improving patient health and well-being,” the group says on its website.

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