Health Check Podcast: Understanding the loneliness crisis

New research has found that lonely older adults can expect to live a shorter life than their peers who don’t perceive themselves as lonely. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Health Check Ep 64: Understanding the loneliness crisis

16:29 mins

Synopsis: Every first and third Wednesday of the month, The Straits Times helps you make sense of health matters that affect you.

Loneliness is toxic. It is associated with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep issues and stress. It can also shorten your life. New research from the Duke-NUS Medical school in Singapore and Nihon University in Tokyo has found that lonely older adults can expect to live a shorter life than their peers who don't perceive themselves as lonely. Their health would also be affected. The study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society on July 7.

In this episode, ST senior health correspondent Joyce Teo asks Assistant Professor Rahul Malhotra, lead author of the study and the head of research at the Centre for Ageing Research and Education at Duke-NUS, to tell us more about loneliness.

They discuss the following points:

1. What is loneliness? (1:10)

2. The extent of loneliness among the elderly here (2:50)

3. How to tell if someone is lonely? (12:48)

4. What can be done to help someone who is lonely? (14:15)

Produced by: Joyce Teo ( and Ernest Luis

Edited by: Hadyu Rahim and Penelope Lee

Subscribe to Health Check Podcast channel, hear the latest episodes every first and third Wednesday of the month and rate us on your favourite audio apps:


Apple Podcasts:


Google Podcasts:


Feedback to:

Read Joyce Teo's stories:


Discover more ST podcast series:

Asian Insider Podcast:

Green Pulse Podcast:

ST Sports Talk Podcast:

Life Weekend Picks Podcast:

#PopVultures Podcast:

Bookmark This! Podcast:

Lunch With Sumiko Podcast:

Discover BT Podcasts:

Follow our shows then, if you like short, practical podcasts!

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.