Loneliness is prevalent in the elderly and included emotional and social loneliness. Information about loneliness was collected four times between 1985 and 2000. At baseline, 39% of elderly men were “moderate lonely” and 3% “severely lonely”. Emotional but not social loneliness, increased over 15 years. All-cause mortality data were collected from 1985 to 2010. All-cause mortality did not differ between moderate and severely lonely participants. Loneliness was common due to an increase of emotional loneliness over time and was not associated with all-cause mortality.
Description of the loneliness questionnaire
Loneliness, defined as the discrepancy between one’s desired and actual relationships, was classified into emotional and social loneliness. Zutphen elderly men filled out a self-administered validated 11-item loneliness questionnaire in 1985, 1990, 1995 and 2000.