How Good Friendships Can Literally Save Your Life
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Protects You From Dementia
A Swedish survey of people 75 years old and older found women and men who kept in contact with a variety of friends and relatives had a lower risk of developing dementia. The researchers said it was possible that juggling many relationships was a mental exercise that kept brains “in tone.”
Adds Years to Your Life
A study of healthy aging studied almost 1,500 seniors for a full decade. One interesting finding: having good friends increases longevity even more than having close relationships with adult children and other family. And those with the largest amount of close friends outlived those with the smallest amount by 22 percent.
Other studies have shown that people with fewer friends tend to die sooner after having a heart attack than people with a strong social network. Having lots of friends may even reduce your chances of catching a cold. That’s true even though you’re probably exposed to more viruses if you spend a lot of time with others.