Sunday, March 14, 2010

Do you need friends to survive?

Irene S. Levine, Ph.D. (Friendship Doctor, Mar. 12, 2010)
Close friends may be more important than family in conferring longevity. Recently, there were two chilling news reports of older women, one who had been living in New York and another in South Carolina who died alone in their homes -- without anyone knowing.

I couldn't help but wonder whether their lives had been cut short because they had no friends to buoy their spirits or to help them manage their lives. A 10-year study of people over the age of 70 in Australia suggests that this might be the case.

The researchers found that friends are more important than family in conferring longevity, and that people with an extensive network of good friends outlive those with the fewest friends by 22 percent. More>>

Cellphones and Brain Tumors: Reduce Exposure
In a gutsy move, the Maine legislature is currently considering requiring warning labels on cellphones -- much like cigarette packets -- about the increased risk of brain cancer from electromagnetic radiation emitted as part of the radio signaling technology of all cellphones. The mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, also wants to mandate new cellphone labelling. And a similar bill was introduced this year to the California legislature. While these initiatives raise disturbing health issues that many people would prefer not to think about, and although the media has met these developments with tepid interest, this may prove to be a watershed moment for public health advocates and the cellphone industry.

More from this issue
  • The Expectations Trap
    Why we're conditioned to blame our partners for our unhappiness.
  • Portrait of a Hunger Artist
    The anorexia began innocently enough, until eating became the point of living. Precisely because it was so special, it had to be made more perfect by hunger.
  • Raising E and Yo...
    A sociologist reconsiders his kids' outrageous names -- and mines the data for clues to the consequences.

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