Living Alone Raises Cancer Risk

HealthDay News reports a study by the American Cancer Society (ACS) shows that U.S. adults who live alone have an overall 32% greater risk of dying from cancer than those who live with others. The risk is greater for men (38%) than for women (30%). Perhaps surprisingly, adults aged 45 to 64 had an even higher 43% greater risk of cancer death. The principal scientist in cancer disparity research at the ACS was quoted as saying, “Findings in this study underscore the significance of addressing living alone in the general population and call for interventions to reduce adverse effects of living alone and social isolation.” Researchers for the study used data from 1998 to 2019 for more than 473,000 adults. The data was followed for up to 22 years to calculate the association between living alone and cancer death. About 38 million households lived alone in 2020, according to the report. That was up from just 7 million solo households in 1960. It is estimated that 28% of Coloradans live alone, with the over age 65 cohort roughly sharing that percentage. In the ACS study, adults living alone were more likely to be older, male, racially diverse, have incomes below the federal poverty level, and suffer from serious psychological distress. They are also more likely to be obese, smoke cigarettes, and consume alcohol.


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