Thursday 27 December 2012 20.02 GMT
Social isolation: 'tis the season to be lonely
"Researchers have shown that day-in, day-out, chronic isolation does real, physical damage"
"In some respects, the scientists are merely affirming what the poets have always known. At the age of 12, Alexander Pope wrote an ode pointing out how unchosen solitude is the most lethal kind: "Thus let me live, unseen, unknown; / Thus unlamented let me die."
Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review