Dr. Kelly Ann Renwick Publishes Timely Article on Influence of Social Support and Living Alone on Aging Canadians

Dr. Kelly Ann Renwick, a former member of the GeoSDH research group and current lecturer at Appalachian State University, recently published the results of a well-timed study examining the influence of living alone, low social support, and a weak sense of belonging on premature mortality among aging Canadians.

Dr. Renwick and her co-authors, including our own Dr. Ross, used a retrospective cohort study to examine survey data from 2001 linked with mortality data through 2011. Their team found evidence to suggest that low social support (affection, emotional/informational support, and positive social interactions) and a weak sense of belonging are significant risk factors for premature mortality among older Canadians. Based on their findings, they propose that these important determinants of health need to be included in the dialogue around healthy aging in Canada.

Dr. Renwick’s team examined, among other variables, positive social interactions, affection, and emotional support. This research couldn’t come at a better time considering the current need for social distancing, especially with the ongoing isolation of many older adults living alone and with limited opportunities for social support.