Almost Half of American Adults Experience Loneliness, Survey Reveals

Category: Health


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. imply / ɪmˈplaɪ / (v) – to suggest an idea without directly saying it

    The results imply that the younger generation is more likely to experience loneliness than the older generation.

  2. prompt / prɒmpt / (v) – to cause something

    The increasing rate of depression among teens prompted the creation of the mental health campaign.

  3. alleviate / əˈli viˌeɪt / (v) – to lessen the severity of something

    The medicine effectively alleviated my muscle pain.

  4. sound / saʊnd / (adj) – good and sensible

    My mentor always gives me sound advice.

  5. confide / kənˈfaɪd / (v) – to share a personal matter with a person one trusts

    My friend often confides in me about her problems at work.


Read the text below.

Results of a survey revealed that almost 50% of American adults are lonely.

Cigna, a multinational health insurance company, has collaborated with market research agency Ipsos for a study that measured loneliness among Americans. Through a survey, the researchers asked over 20,000 American adults aged 18 and above to rate their loneliness on a scale of 20 to 80. A score of 43 and above indicated loneliness.

Based on the findings, the respondents had an average score of 44. This implies that experiencing loneliness is common among American adults.

Results further suggested that the degree of loneliness decreases as people get older. The 72 and above age group had the lowest average score at 38.6. On the other hand, the 18 to 22 age group had the highest level of loneliness, with a 48.3 average rating. Shyness and feelings of isolation are among the factors associated with loneliness in this age group.

Cigna CEO David Cordani affirmed that lack of social interaction greatly contributes to loneliness. For instance, employed respondents had lower loneliness ratings than unemployed ones. Dr. Douglas Nemecek, Cigna chief medical officer for behavioral health, explained that settings like the workplace prompt face-to-face interactions that can create valuable relationships.

To help people alleviate loneliness, Cigna launched several initiatives. One of which is the Cigna Health Advisor Program. It allows individuals to connect with health coaches who can give sound advice and tips on lifestyle improvements. Another initiative is Cigna’s Health Information Line, a 24/7 hotline that lets individuals directly confide in an expert regarding personal concerns and listen to audio files about different health topics.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you find the results of the study alarming? Why or why not?
• Aside from loneliness, what other mental health issues do you think need more attention? Explain.

Discussion B

• Why do you think it is important to help socially isolated people?
• In what ways can you reach out to socially isolated people?