Loneliness is a unique predictor of age-related differences in systolic blood pressure

Louise C. Hawkley, Christopher M. Masi, Jarett D. Berry, John T. Cacioppo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

352 Scopus citations


A population-based sample of Caucasians, African Americans, and Latino Americans, 50-68 years of age (M = 57.5), from Cook County, Illinois (N = 229), was tested to examine how loneliness and co-occurring psychosocial factors (depressive symptoms, perceived stress, social support, and hostility) were related to indices of cardiovascular and endocrine functioning. Extending prior research, the authors found that loneliness was associated with elevated systolic blood pressure (SBP) and age-related increases in SBP, net of demographic variables, health behavior variables, and the remaining psychosocial factors. Loneliness was not associated with differences in autonomic or endocrine functioning. Although the results are limited by the cross-sectional methods used, they are consistent with the hypothesis that cardiovascular disease contributes to increased morbidity and mortality among lonely individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-164
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology and Aging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Age
  • Blood pressure
  • Loneliness
  • Psychosocial stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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