One in five Pakistanis have felt isolated in the last seven days, with the emotion felt at a higher rate amongst women in contrast to men, according to a survey by Gallup Pakistan that was released on Wednesday.
The Gallup opinion poll asked respondents whether they or any one from their family felt ‘loneliness’ in the last seven days. Nineteen percent survey respondents replied in the affirmative, while 81 percent said no. When broken down by gender, 22 percent of respondents who said yes were female while 19 percent were male.
The incidence of loneliness was highest at 21 percent in the 30-50 years age bracket. Sixteen percent of the people who said yes to the question were over 50 years of age, while 15 percent were under 30.
There was also a slight difference between rural and urban survey takers as 20 percent of those who said yes belonged to rural areas while 16 percent were from urban centres.
According to the US National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), loneliness can have a harmful impact on a person’s psychological and physiological wellbeing. Being lonely can exacerbate depression, deteriorate sleep quality and lead to altered psychological states as in the case of Alzheimers. It can also possibly lead to obesity, auto immune disorders such as Lupus, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases like coronary heart disease and hypertension.