Living alone ‘are more depressed’

 

People of working age who live alone increase their risk of depression by up to 80% compared with people living in families, says a Finnish study.It says the main factors are poor housing conditions for women and a lack of social support for men, who are both equally affected.

The study tracked the use of anti-depressants in 3,500 Finnish people.A mental health charity said people who lived alone must be given outlets to talk about their problems.The study authors highlight the fact that the proportion of one-person households in Western countries has increased during the past three decades, with one in every three people in the US and the UK living alone.

The participants in the study, published in BioMed Central’s public health journal, were working-age Finns; 1,695 were men and 1,776 were women, and they had an average age of 44.6 years.They were surveyed in 2000 and asked whether they lived alone or with other people.Other information about their lifestyle was gathered, such as social support, work climate, education, income, employment status and housing conditions, in addition to details on smoking habits, alcohol use and activity levels.

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