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July 27th, 2010
05:05 PM ET

Social relationships key to survival, study says

Having satisfying social relationships may be about as important as not smoking when it comes to your lifespan, a new study suggests.

It turns out that people with adequate social relationships have a 50 percent greater likelihood of survival than people who have poor or insufficient relationships. That means that having good relationships is comparable to quitting smoking in terms of survival benefit, and is a stronger factor than obesity and physical activity.

Researchers from Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill looked at 148 different studies that examined the connection between survival and relationships. Regardless of age, sex, initial health status, cause of death, and follow-up period in the individual studies, the new analysis finds that those with stronger relationships have an increased likelihood of survival.

This principle of social relationships aiding survival has even been seen in babies, the study noted. In the mid-20th century, infants in orphanages were observed to have high mortality rates predicted by lack of human contact. Death rates in these settings substantially decreased with changes in practice and policy to promote social interaction.

One theory behind these results is that social relationships may buffer the negative effects of stressors on health, such as illness and transitions and changes in life. Social relationships may also promote healthy behaviors, in the sense that people may directly encourage each other's good habits or indirectly provide good models.

"In addition, being part of a social network gives individuals meaningful roles that provide esteem and purpose to life," the authors wrote.

As seen in the research of Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, positive attributes such as happiness spread in social networks, as well as negative behaviors such as smoking and obesity. But they also found that people who dropped their friends who gained weight were more susceptible to obesity themselves.

The study on social relationships and mortality appears in the journal PLoS Medicine.


soundoff (942 Responses)
  1. Jerry

    blah blah another pointless study next.

    July 27, 2010 at 18:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • O

      Naw– this is serious stuff, man. People do stupid things, even commit suicide simply 'cause they lack a couple decent friends. But then again– how u gonna fix that kind of sad mess?

      July 27, 2010 at 21:27 | Report abuse |
    • bbbritt

      This is not a pointless study. You are probably just upset that you have realized you don't have any friends and could possibly live a shorter life because of it.

      July 28, 2010 at 10:05 | Report abuse |
    • Lola

      Mike, funny.

      July 28, 2010 at 15:59 | Report abuse |
    • roaming dog

      Use your hand, please, because it is clear you aren't able to use your (larger) head. Unlike women you use and throw away, your hand won't hate you later or tell all the other hands what you've been doing. Your hand is available 24 h per day and it knows just what you like. You don't have to lie to it to gain compliance or use a glove. It probably won't hit you when you don't thank it afterwards or offer to drive it home. You will never pay it child support. DNA doesn't lie. Neither should you. Be honest with every woman or use your hand. Don't be a dog lest someone neuter you.

      July 28, 2010 at 16:07 | Report abuse |
    • Holden Mecoc

      Roaming Dog is absolutely right. I mean commenting on someone's facebook status surely extends our life doesn't it? Or liking someone's photo album.

      What a pointless study, just like the study that cell phone usage leads to brain cancer.

      July 28, 2010 at 16:24 | Report abuse |
    • brian

      "You are probably just upset that you have realized you don't have any friends"

      Or maybe it's because people commit suicide over words as simple as these.

      July 28, 2010 at 16:35 | Report abuse |
    • WASTED MONEY

      BBBRIT: You are an imbocile. Obviously you are one of the few jacknobs that feel these asinine studies bring new knowledge and enlightenment when in actuality it only helps people who have been living in a hole and have the social skills of a retarded jellyfish...like yourself apparently. They waste so much freakin' money on this drivel it is incredibly. Why use it on something useful?! Oh, but that would be productive. We can't have that. MORONS.

      July 28, 2010 at 18:03 | Report abuse |
    • Jimike

      I don't think I totally agree with this. If you were autistic and confined to a mental hospital where they only fed you fresh fruits and vegetables along with non-greasy meats, then people who are social or otherwise talkative like the female inheritance are more likely to spend money when saliva starts to infiltrate the porous openings of their mouths (mouth watering) when ever they have visual stimulus from a McDonalds billboard advertising burgers with fat dripping from their paddies.

      July 28, 2010 at 20:24 | Report abuse |
    • Annonymous

      I think the chick in the middle is pretty hoooooottttt.

      July 29, 2010 at 11:54 | Report abuse |
  2. Dave

    Breaking News: Scientists discover water is pretty wet!

    July 27, 2010 at 19:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. SoundOffer

    50% greater chance of survival of.. or through.. what? Shark attacks? The Revelation?

    July 27, 2010 at 19:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • endeavor43

      My thoughts exactly! It is a completely meaningless headline. The article doesn't clarify things much, except for an oblique comparison to smoking with regards to lifespan.

      July 28, 2010 at 03:10 | Report abuse |
    • Superman

      A zombie invasion

      July 28, 2010 at 13:41 | Report abuse |
    • david

      I think it's a 50% greater chance of surviving "people who don't have friends get eliminated" parties

      July 28, 2010 at 18:44 | Report abuse |
  4. ngn

    Will health care plans cover this?

    July 27, 2010 at 19:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SoundOffer

      Absolutely. Just "like" them on Facebook, so that you get all the social benefits.

      July 27, 2010 at 19:26 | Report abuse |
  5. Lem

    Greater chance of survival from what exactly?

    July 27, 2010 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • guest

      death

      July 27, 2010 at 19:46 | Report abuse |
    • mike

      HAHAHA...Survival from death !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      July 28, 2010 at 16:27 | Report abuse |
    • Barbara Strzemp

      The study is very relevant. It points out that "no man is an island" we need support no matter who we are or what we are.Barbara

      July 29, 2010 at 13:33 | Report abuse |
  6. ChollyGee

    Social relationships are sometimes harmful to those in them without their realization. It is better to have a couple good friends that a bunch of 'social relationships'. Rural people have a handful of good friends and live long lives. Hard work and keeping active mentally and physically is more important to long life than the social, imo.

    July 27, 2010 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Buck

      Exactly.

      July 28, 2010 at 12:05 | Report abuse |
    • Ralph Gentry

      10-4 Gud Buddy

      July 28, 2010 at 15:42 | Report abuse |
  7. Larry

    Hermits become hermits for a reason and I hear they have long and fruitful lives.

    July 27, 2010 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. patom177

    Let me guess. This study was done through a government grant. Talk about wasting time and money.

    July 27, 2010 at 19:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • FREE SUPERIOR COUNSEL FOR ALL

      They waste so much money on this CRAP it is unbelievable. For anyone who has studied thoroughly the wise counsel found in God's Word the Bible, this is juvenile. I live my life by it and am far more mature than most of the 50 years old I work with and DEFINITELY more mature than the 20 years old in my age bracket. I find it pathetic that people three times my age still behave like screaming toddlers wanting their way and wonder why they have so much drama in the workplace. So juvenile.

      July 28, 2010 at 18:07 | Report abuse |
  9. Chris

    I need a friend.

    July 27, 2010 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Greg

      Me too....................

      July 27, 2010 at 21:25 | Report abuse |
    • Adrienne

      Maybe you should find some type of club or class you're interested in your area, and start meeting like minded people.

      July 28, 2010 at 16:54 | Report abuse |
  10. Kevin H

    As folks have said here – no one factor insures anything in life. What they are trying to say is stay socially involved with friends and you have a chance of living longer. That doesn't mean other factors are not important. This particularly valid as our society grays. People are living a lot longer so making certain social engagement occurs will increase the likelihood that people will have longer, fuller, happier lives. I have an aunt, she's 90 something. She's not very active. She's crotchity – the reason is because she's lonely and scared. That's all of us – if we're lucky enough to live to that age. Since women outlive men by at least twenty years this is important research. Take notice folks – it's worth at least considering. It's not blah, blah, blah – the body of research literature informs literate opinion and is at least worth discussing.

    July 27, 2010 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • White Lotus

      Women do not outlive men by more than 20 years on average, you're not even close. Do your homework. The average male in United States live to 75: http://www.nationmaster.com/country/us-united-states/hea-health you are saying that women on average live to over 95.

      July 27, 2010 at 21:31 | Report abuse |
    • Ally

      ummm...most women are younger than their male counterparts when they get married. You have to take that into account.

      July 28, 2010 at 12:51 | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    I wonder if this study doesn't apply to certain age groups like college-aged people. Does it really increase you chances of survival if you're involved in a social network of kids who wake up in their own pile of puke from a crazy party? Don't think thats very healthy.

    July 27, 2010 at 20:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. openyourmind

    Why don't American women do what European Women do, and allow their men to have affairs occasionally, and they themselves enjoy some variety from time to time. Be consider. Keep it to yourselves. Don't make a huge deal about it, and enjoy yourselves everyway you can. You will have a real motivation to stay fit and attractive too and quite a bit more excitement and longevity in your lives. I'll take sex over a soy latte anytime!

    July 27, 2010 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scott

      You sir, are a moron.

      July 27, 2010 at 21:02 | Report abuse |
    • Whatever

      Um... yeah... that sounds really lame.... Why would I marry a guy and then let him sleep around on me? That's ridiculous. That's a half-ass way trying to fit into society when you don't really want to... LIke you don't really want a loving, committed marriage, but you'll get married to fit into society and sleep behind each others' backs. Hahaha! Right! Why would you ever take the challenges of marriage without the only real benefit of marriage which is warm close intimacy that can only come from sexual commitment... Without that, I'm better off single, with my own personal and financial freedom, where guys are for flings and social warmth comes from platonic friendships.

      July 27, 2010 at 21:13 | Report abuse |
    • themoi

      Better yet I'll have the affair and leave him at home.

      July 27, 2010 at 21:37 | Report abuse |
    • sylvia

      then what exactly would be the point of a marriage? its not as if relationships such as friends with benefits or 'no strings attached never existed.

      July 27, 2010 at 21:41 | Report abuse |
    • Kathy

      I'm a European woman and my husband and I don't have affairs on each other. Being married in Europe and America are very similar actually. Maybe women are just not your thing.

      July 27, 2010 at 21:57 | Report abuse |
    • Riiiight...

      Most women (and men, believe it or not) have this thing called morality. Most of those who have a sense of morality think it's immoral to sleep around on your spouse. It is widely believed that sleeping around on your spouse is a sign of a faulty marriage. Hope you never have one, if that's how you think about it.

      July 28, 2010 at 13:26 | Report abuse |
  13. Joe Mahma

    .

    Guess I might as well take up smoking. Or blow my brains out right now.

    .

    July 27, 2010 at 21:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lance

      At least hold out until WWIII starts. That should be pretty interesting, and give us all something to worry about together. The "leaders" of the world have been conspiring for decades to make this a reality, so let's not let them down by not being there to watch.

      July 28, 2010 at 00:31 | Report abuse |
  14. Scott

    I hate people, why would I want to be in social relationships?

    July 27, 2010 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • themoi

      Here, here! Most people suck so why bother?

      July 27, 2010 at 21:37 | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      I agree. It's too easy to get caught up in petty drama.

      July 28, 2010 at 11:10 | Report abuse |
    • cmc

      By all means, if social relationships make you unhappy, don't have them. Who cares how many years you live: it's the quality of life that matters. If you die alone but happy at 50, isn't that better than dying surrounded by friends at 90 and being unhappy the whole time?

      July 28, 2010 at 13:40 | Report abuse |
    • scott sucks

      With insights like this, maybe it's not other people who are so stupid

      July 28, 2010 at 17:40 | Report abuse |
  15. Thanatos

    Well, having friends would NOT help me survive longer because they are more trouble than they've ever been worth to me. There is a reason my friendships have never lasted very long......Because I have never wanted them to!

    July 27, 2010 at 21:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jillybean

      Having friends is overrated and draining

      July 28, 2010 at 00:01 | Report abuse |
    • JB

      I agree with Crazy Waiter and Jillybean; for as long as I can remember I've preferred being on my own. I've developed one close friendship so my husband would get off my back, but even then I sometimes screen her calls so I can do what I want to do alone. I don't even go on FB or Twitter because I don't want to waste my time typing and reading updates I don't care about.

      Perhaps I'm anti-social or abnormal, but the thought of maintaining more than one friendship makes me want to rip my hair out. For me, the stress of maintaining many friendships would cause more stress and liely make me less healthy in the long run.

      July 28, 2010 at 10:08 | Report abuse |
    • cmc

      Don't even bother with friendships if they are that much of a problem. Why even go through the trouble of even starting one up? And to JB, why are you even married if you prefer being on your own? If you think the work of maintaining a friendship is taxing, how could you possibly think the work of maintaining a marriage isn't? Marriage is probably the biggest relationship there is. What a drain! Being alone means truly being alone.

      July 28, 2010 at 13:46 | Report abuse |
    • THATS BECAUSE YOU SUCK AT FRIENDSHIPS

      Like the saying goes , 'The only way to have a friend is to be one'. If you find that your friends are more trouble than they are worth, then obviously the problem lies with you. People that have drama in their lives with everyone need to look at the common denominator in the equation. STINKS TO BE YOU!

      July 28, 2010 at 18:12 | Report abuse |
  16. unknown

    All this study says, is that if you have an adequate social circle you have a greater chance of survival. Really, this writer needs to be a little more clear. Do you have a greater chance of survival in a plane crash, beating aids, or whooping cancer's ass? Does it increase life expectancy? Great article Elizabeth Landau!!!!!!!

    July 27, 2010 at 21:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Esse

    I need tons of friends and will accept anyone on facebook, lol! πŸ™‚ xx luvs

    July 27, 2010 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. LockandLoad

    You can't survive death unless your friend is Jesus!!!

    July 27, 2010 at 22:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Woofle

    I dunno... maybe it's just because the more social you are, the more likely someone's gonna notice you are "not quite right" and force you to go get checked out. I'd bet that could account for a lot of it. Lonely people don't have people checking to see if their diabetes has left them in a coma on the couch as often. πŸ˜›

    July 27, 2010 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Crazy Waiter

    I much prefer to be alone. I am still alive at 39 years old so far.

    July 27, 2010 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jillybean

      Maybe this has something with the service industry. I worked as a waitress in a casino now I prefer to be alone to company. I love being alone and I feel very happy.

      July 28, 2010 at 00:02 | Report abuse |
  21. George

    More important than a social network is something to live for. Find something you love and put your whole heart and soul into it. If you do this, time and old age will get tired of chasing you, and just leave you alone. For me it's music. I have been playing guitar for 53 years. I play with a vocalist performing big band era music, I also play classical and flamenco solos. After all these years it still gives me something wonderful and something I love. A reason to live for many, many more years.

    July 27, 2010 at 23:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Vasilaki

      George has hit the nail on the head. Congratulations, George – for finding a positive passion in your life. And here's the kicker: when he's performing his "passion" in front of other people, I'll bet his energy and enthusiasm is inspirational to those lucky enough to hear him. Thus, it increases THEIR lifespan, as well. Everyone reading this take a second and SMILE. Do it enough and it will do wonders for your attitude, overall health and well-being.....regardless of whether you wish to exist with a large social circle or all by yourself. I wish EVERYONE a wonderful evening!

      July 28, 2010 at 02:15 | Report abuse |
  22. deb

    This is just common knowledge, isn't it? Being around others and having even a few good friends has always been a positive influence in one's life. Positivity vs negativity. This is not rocket science. There's an old song..."People Who Need People are the Happiest People in the World". πŸ˜‰

    July 28, 2010 at 00:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. deb

    I stand corrected..."People Who Need People are the Luckiest People in the World." πŸ™‚

    July 28, 2010 at 00:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Lance

    "t turns out that people with adequate social relationships have a 50 percent greater likelihood of survival than people who have poor or insufficient relationships."

    Without hyperbole, this is the most meaningless English sentence I have ever seen in "legitimate" print. The hierarchy of "lies, damned lies and statistics" has been extended now to include "Something which our average reader will think looks like it might be a statistic".

    I hope I live to see the day when the US populace is as deeply offended by such an excerpt as it would be reading a North Korean customer-service satisfaction survey.

    July 28, 2010 at 00:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AJB

      What is truly amazing is that because posters here do not understand what the phrase "people with adequate social relationships have a 50 percent greater likelihood of survival than people who have poor or insufficient relationships", they think it is stupid or meaningless.

      This is common phrasing in epidemiologic work. I would guess that this is a survival analysis (though I have not read the actual study) and the when comparing these two groups, the one group lived on average 50% longer.

      This work could have implications for certain groups of people, perhaps the elderly, or for people who counset others.

      A common mistake in CNN postings on epidemiologic work is that posters dismiss studies on groups based on individual observation or cases. There are always outliers; this type of work looks at issues with multiple factors.

      July 28, 2010 at 11:13 | Report abuse |
  25. Bec

    Funny we cannot appreciate common sense now days unless some statistical analysis is done to show it.
    I like the earlier comment that some scientist should do a study to prove water is wet. Could make headlines in America.

    July 28, 2010 at 00:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sara

      Water is wet? I don't believe it, show me the article. πŸ™‚

      July 28, 2010 at 02:25 | Report abuse |
    • Truth is Obvious to those with BRAINS

      I come to the living section for a good laugh!! THe articles are incredibly juvenile and rife with poor grammar. They are filled with the most oversimplifed garbage I have ever seen. What is even more hilarious is the fact that writers for CNN must be incredibly spineless because nearly ALL of the articles have commenters that HATE THE ARTICLE!!!! Can you imagine writing an article and feeling so proud of yourself that it will be published online then to read all the comments that say the article is completely stupid and a complete waste of time?!???! But, I see this everyday! Apparently they have no self respect. Whatever. Its good for a laugh.

      July 28, 2010 at 18:29 | Report abuse |
  26. Stace

    I think an interesting point of this study is that there was a variable for individuals who do have terminal illnesses. Those individuals who had family members, friends, group members from their organizations come and visit them, they outlived their counterparts who had little to no visitors. What does this mean to you and me? Perhaps we should get out and visit a sick relative, perhaps we should invest more time hanging out with friends and forming true friendships instead of a pseudo-social networking friend, and perhaps we should reach out to others – especially those individuals who seem lonely or disheartened.
    Simply something to think about, please be kind with my post πŸ™‚

    July 28, 2010 at 01:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Vasilaki

      You and George got it going on. Thanks for being a "light" to those sitting in the dark in life. The prevailing tone, attitude and pretention displayed by many in this thread is pretty damn disheartening – when all the author was really trying to say is that there seems to be a major benefit to getting out and being active in life. It is kind of like high school, the kids that were part of sports teams and clubs tended to view high school as a more positive experience than those that did not get involved. Not everyone is fortunate enough to find your true passion in life, but don't let it stop you from the good feeling you'll derive from helping another person.....now matter how small or simple the kind gesture may be.

      July 28, 2010 at 02:28 | Report abuse |
    • WOW

      Stace, you seriously never have done that? I visit the elderly and sick all the time. Its called being an empathetic human being. Well, I guess there are alot of naive people that this article is good for. YIKES>

      July 28, 2010 at 18:32 | Report abuse |
  27. Sara

    Maybe someone can answer this question b/c I am feeling pretty dumb after reading this article. Is this article talking about online social network relationships or in-person relationships?

    July 28, 2010 at 02:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Vasilaki

    Don't feel dumb, Sara – the writer did not elaborate on the definition of a social relationship – so she left it up to us to decide on our own. But then she threw in the blurb on infant mortality rates decreasing with physical contact, so I could see why you would be confused. IMO (and I am part of the ignorant masses, so don't hold me to it), the improved morale and sense of belonging that can be implied to cause the benefit of social relationships would not change whether it be from an online friend or physically hanging out and socializing in-person. They COULD have taken the study one step further and included pets in the circle of our social relationships.......those of us with four-legged loves ALL KNOW how good it feels after a hard day at work – to come home to our little one waiting for us by the door, obviously excited to see us with their tails wagging and jumping like crazy. Now THOSE are some of the best social relationships around!!

    July 28, 2010 at 02:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Ms. Anthrope

    Like, OMG, I just joined something called a Misanthrope's Club! I'm not sure what it's all about yet but I'm totally looking forward to meeting new and interesting people!

    July 28, 2010 at 04:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Jeffrey Allen Miller NY

    Or, just accept one's life will be rather short in the scheme of things.... the Internet is teaching me more about people than I needed to know, thus being a loner (and alone) is preferred from this stage forward.

    July 28, 2010 at 06:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Shiny Surface of a Lake, Fish jumps up through....rings!

    I hate articles like these, because they make it sound like it's possible to just go out and find a close friend.
    Some people, try as they might, can't find this type of connection, so then what? Keep trying and trying and trying and then what?

    July 28, 2010 at 08:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Grant

    American Headline: Social Relationships Key to Survival
    Canadian Headline: Relationships linked to life span

    Why does everything in America need explosions and urgency?

    July 28, 2010 at 09:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Leah (TXanimal)

      I place the blame squarely on three little words: FOX NEWS ALERT!!!

      I actually put a ban on Fox News in one office I managed because I was so sick and tired of hearing that phrase. They've since done away with it (I think, I haven't watched Fox News in probably 5 years), but it still irks me to think about.

      July 28, 2010 at 15:29 | Report abuse |
    • Lettuce Pray

      What? Not Bush's fault?

      July 28, 2010 at 16:12 | Report abuse |
  33. Rob

    Since one cannot prospectively randomize a person into 2 different test groups – one in which the person "socializes" with people and the other in which they do not, then one cannot definitively conclude that socializing prolongs life. In other words, perhaps people who are healthier (for some yet unidentified reason) are more likely to socialize (chicken-egg issue)...

    July 28, 2010 at 09:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. bob in calif

    There must be a tremendous number of factors that affect longevity. Remember the article last week on sitting? There is something intuitively correct about this article. Having friends and acquaintances (at least the kind who doesn’t drag you down) may not increase your lifespan. But like chicken soup, β€œit couldn’t hurt”.

    July 28, 2010 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Long John Silver

    Anyone find it amusing that a study by Mormons features three ladies looking to hookup in a bar driking cocktails?

    July 28, 2010 at 12:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Leo

    The significance of this, my dear friends, is that it's evidence that you DON'T need a "God" to create a moral compass. The ability to get along with your peers is necessary for survival, and is therefore a trait that is favorably selected by NATURAL SELECTION. We evolved to be nice! It's actually important for evolutionary reasons.

    Chew on that.

    July 28, 2010 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Saylee

    Great comments!! Sister brags on about many friends...starts chemo in 3 days...I always felt bad about no close friends, your comments had me laughing....thks

    July 28, 2010 at 12:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. SHIELA

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE....NO FRIENDS MAKES FOR A VERY LONELY LIFE. AND EVEN A LONELIER DEATH.
    I FEEL SORRY FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO THINK FRIENDS SHOULD BE PUT IN CATAGORIES( AGE, GENDER, ETC) WE SHOULD CHERISH ALL OF THEM ..SOME PASS THRU YOUR LIFE SO QUICKLY, THEY GROW UP , MOVE AWAY, DIVORCE MARRY ETC... AND THERE GONE. YEARS PASS AND YOU MAY NEVER SEEN NOT HEAR FROM THEM AGAIN. HOLD ON TO THEM IN YOUR HEART .......... I SEE YA WHEN I AM 100, FRIEND!

    July 28, 2010 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Grant

      indoor voices please

      July 28, 2010 at 13:40 | Report abuse |
  39. Marisa

    Ohhhh, so THAT explains why my life is totally failing. Now I just need to find some friends....

    July 28, 2010 at 12:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Leah (TXanimal)

    Key phrase: "satisfying social relationships". The positive effects of the satisfying relationships I have are negated by the drama that surrounds the rest of my social relationships. πŸ˜‰

    July 28, 2010 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. John

    Not necessarily. I don't have any social relationships and I'm happy as a clam. A CLAM!

    July 28, 2010 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • A Shrubbery

      A clam! thank you for making me laugh...

      July 29, 2010 at 16:15 | Report abuse |
  42. Lettuce Pray

    ...and while you're all out there looking for friends to provide some justification for your life of greed and sloth (...act now and we'll guarantee that it'll lengthen your lifespan, too!), the rest of us will continue to work and actually make the world go 'round.

    July 28, 2010 at 15:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. guest

    I don't understand.. social relationships also introduces people to bad addictions.... how would that increase the survivability?

    July 28, 2010 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. me

    I believe men marrying a good woman at a young age will keep them alive and well longer. Otherwise they will party themselves to death at a young age.

    July 28, 2010 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Jane

    I need a hug...

    July 28, 2010 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. 4L3X

    What is up with the blatantly obvious stories? Relationships may help you live longer, ADHD students more likely to drop out, what's next, fast food may make people obese?

    July 28, 2010 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. samnyborg

    Does that mean that social smokers are safe? Does that social aspect of smoking counter the bad effects of smoking?

    July 28, 2010 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. newbie

    Well... I find social relationships draining and more than anything, a waste of time... might be good for some, like those who lack a passion in life. So making a rule out of something like this is insane. The author really needs to open up her mind!!!

    July 28, 2010 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Papa Tango 15

      Newbie having a passion is a great thing, but SHARING that passion with another, who could quite possibly start to enjoy your passion, which means you've just enhanced someone else's life. A cold barren and sterile existence is no way to live man.

      July 28, 2010 at 16:53 | Report abuse |
  49. Neelesh

    nothing new finding!! That's why we are called social animals :)..we need someone to share our happiness and sorrows , our glories and defeats (may be not ;))..They people who lack that needs media to talk about them..in a nutshell we cannot live in isolation..i think thing thing was discovered way long back πŸ™‚

    July 28, 2010 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. bill

    no matter what you do, your chance of dying is 100%

    July 28, 2010 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • roaming dog

      Yes but the life you are alotted can be good or it can suck. Death is only a tragedy if a person doesn't live a good life by choice or circumstance. Quantity is a non-issue. Quality is everything. A good social relationship really helps. Realization that life is finite also helps.

      July 28, 2010 at 16:30 | Report abuse |
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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