Bavaria: Bavaria is dedicated to the dangers of loneliness

Munich (dpa / lby) - The health dangers of loneliness will be at the top of the agenda in Bavarian health policy in the coming year.

Bavaria: Bavaria is dedicated to the dangers of loneliness

Munich (dpa / lby) - The health dangers of loneliness will be at the top of the agenda in Bavarian health policy in the coming year. "Many people feel lonely, whether young or old. The corona pandemic has exacerbated this phenomenon through contact restrictions, closed schools, sports and leisure facilities or home office," said Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) in Munich. Loneliness can affect anyone and chronic loneliness can even make you sick. "That's why we will focus more on this risk factor in the coming year."

According to Holetschek, information offers and measures against loneliness, such as chat phones and meeting platforms for older people, health days of the health authorities on the subject and a specialist day with experts are planned. In addition, there are social media posts with influencers to reach younger people. In addition, a Bavarian loneliness report is to be drawn up, which is to be presented in spring 2023.

Data from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) and the German Aging Survey (DEAS) showed that before the corona pandemic, around a third of people in Bavaria said they were lonely at least sometimes, two to three percent are often or very often lonely . According to experts, the number of lonely people increased significantly during the corona pandemic.

"The health consequences of loneliness are serious. Anyone who is lonely for a long time can become physically and mentally ill," emphasized Holetschek. Those who feel lonely tend to have an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. According to experts, lonely people in particular could suffer more from anxiety, depression or sleep problems as well as cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure or strokes.

The risk of developing addictive behavior and, in particular, increased consumption of alcohol, tobacco or drugs is increased in lonely people. "In older people, loneliness can even promote the development of dementia," warned Holetschek.