The National Heart Foundation recently looked at the issue of social support and heart disease and their main findings were:
People who experience depression or are socially isolated, or do not have quality social support, are at greater risk of developing heart disease.
These 3 factors can have a greater effect on a person’s risk of heart disease, in comparison to better-known risk factors such as smoking, high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure.
If you already have heart disease, depression, social isolation, or of lack of social support, it can greatly affect your recovery and future health.
Social support is extremely important for your recovery following a heart attack. Social support means having a variety of contacts with people who are available for emotional support, such as friends and family. It also means being able to participate in formal or informal social activities. The term “social isolation” refers to people who live alone, but are lonely for other reasons, as they do not have a supportive social network of friends or family.
Having people to confide in is vital to your heart health, because you can be supported throughout your recovery, and guided to seek help from your doctor or other health professionals, if needed.