Kathleen Yeoman standing by a window
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Loneliness 'affects general health'

2 April 2014 Last updated at 22:23 BST

The emotional problems associated with loneliness have long been acknowledged, but now there is evidence that being lonely has an impact on overall health.

Researchers found that lonely people are more likely to be heavy drinkers, smokers and overweight.

Alison Holt reports.