Effect of Social Isolation and Loneliness on Health Care Utilization
The researchers assessed the effect of social isolation and loneliness on healthcare utilization (costs and frequency of care) using longitudinal survey data from the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS) linked to Medicare administrative claims data. This study provides the first representative picture of the correlation social isolation and loneliness have with total Medicare costs. Additional project funding was obtained from the AARP Public Policy Institute. Analysis and sub-analyses are now largely complete and the initial findings have been presented internally to researchers within Stanford and AARP Public Policy Institute; final results are being prepared for submission for peer-reviewed publication and the release of findings may be coordinated with the AARP Public Policy Institute to convene a research and policy meeting around the topic of social isolation and health.