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In "Americans, More Than Ever, Are Aging Alone," the Wall Street Journal's Janet Adamy and Paul Overberg report that "Loneliness undermines health and is linked to early mortality — and baby boomers are especially feeling the effects."
The big picture: "Baby boomers are aging alone more than any generation in U.S. history, and the resulting loneliness is a looming public health threat."
- By the numbers: "About one in 11 Americans age 50 and older lacks a spouse, partner or living child, census figures and other research show. That amounts to about eight million people in the U.S. without close kin, the main source of companionship in old age, and their share of the population is projected to grow."
"Policy makers are concerned this will strain the federal budget and undermine baby boomers’ health."
- "Researchers have found that loneliness takes a physical toll, and is as closely linked to early mortality as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day or consuming more than six alcoholic drinks a day."
- "Loneliness is even worse for longevity than being obese or physically inactive."
Go deeper: How loneliness hurts your health