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Bu et al 1 report their findings from using data collected by an established longitudinal study of older people (the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, ELSA), linked to administrative information, to analyse loneliness, social disengagement and isolation as risk factors for hospital admissions related to respiratory disease. Both survival and sensitivity analyses were used on a sample of c. 4500 respondents to conclude that living alone and social disengagement are risk factors for such admissions, but there was no significant statistical evidence to indicate that low social contact or loneliness are.
Previous research, including the ELSA wave 5 report,2 has acknowledged ‘… strong cross-sectional associations between psychological well-being and health, particularly in relation to chronic …
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study. No data were analysed directly for this commentary, only existing reports were considered.