Seeing family often could shorten your life – study

Seeing your friends and families often won’t make you live longer, a new study has found.

Researchers, from McGill University in Canada, examined ideas that social contact, or a lack thereof, is linked to mortality.

The study examined the strength of family ties and challenged long-held ideas that frequent social contact is linked to better health and longevity.

It explored the effect of various social stressors – using data from more than 100,000 people from across the world – and found a close-knit family has little effect on your lifespan.

And it found repeated contact with friends was more beneficial than with relatives – improving the chances of a longer life by around 7%.

But spending time with family members is actually worse for your mortality, as they can add stress to your life.

Dr Eran Shor, who led the study, told the Independent: ‘Our findings show a minimal effect of social contact frequency on mortality and call into question interventions and clinical advice that simply seek to increase one’s social contact frequency’

Researchers at McGill said that while the majority of existing studies reported a positive link between increased contact and longevity, their own study found only a very moderate effect when considering other variables, including age and scoioeconomic status.