Lifestyle-related factors in loneliness and social isolation of older persons : A Ghanaian study

Razak M. GYASI, Gloria Chepngeno LANG'AT, Anokye M. ADAM, David R. PHILLIPS

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Loneliness and social isolation are increasingly common in old age and have been related to lifestyle behaviors. However, the specific roles of modifiable lifestyles in objective and subjective social isolation are unclear. This chapter examines the effects of lifestyle-related factors on loneliness and social isolation in old age based on evidence from a Ghanaian study. We applied adjusted Ordinary Least Squares models, drawing on data from the Aging, Health, Psychological Well-being, and Health-seeking Behavior study (AgeHeaPsyWel–HeaSeeB). The analytic sample included 1201 adults aged ≥50 years living in the community. The three-item UCLA Loneliness Scale assessed loneliness, the adapted Social Network Index assessed social isolation, and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) measured physical activity (PA). Regression modeling showed that PA was statistically significantly associated with decreasing levels of loneliness (b = −.048, 95% CI = −.114−.017) and social isolation (b = −.077, 95% CI = −.197 to −.043). Smokers were more likely to be lonely than non-smokers (b =.218, 95% CI =.062−.375). Alcohol intake was associated with increased social isolation (b =.414, 95% CI =.218−.610). Gender significantly moderated the drinking behavior–social isolation association (b =.549, 95% CI =.159−.939). These findings highlight the importance of considering lifestyle in tackling subjective and objective social isolation and the role of gender in old age.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLoneliness and Social Isolation in Old Age Correlates and Implications
EditorsAndré HAJEK, Steffi G. RIEDEL-HELLER, Hans-Helmut KÖNIG
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781000890440
ISBN (Print)9781032265940
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 selection and editorial matter, André Hajek, Steffi G. Riedel-Heller and Hans-Helmut König; individual chapters, the contributors.


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