Purpose: Loneliness is a subjective feeling by which an individual perceives a lack of closeness in interpersonal relationships. An isolated living status is linked with higher odds of risky health behavior. The conflicting impacts of loneliness and isolated living status on stress-related biomarkers, depressive symptoms, and disability remain unexplained. Methods: Six hundred twenty-nine participants aged 66.0 (SD=7.3) separated into four groups: “Lonely and Isolated,” “Not Lonely, but Isolated,” “Lonely, but Not Isolated,” and “Neither Lonely, nor Isolated,” were retrieved from the Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study conducted in 2000. Follow-up health indicators in 2006 included three stress-related biomarkers, depressive symptoms, and two physical disability indicators. A hierarchical regression was performed for the analysis. Results: Firstly, compared to the “Neither Lonely nor Isolated” group, only the “Lonely, but Not Isolated” participants at baseline retained positive associations with the stress-related biomarkers levels 6 years later (urine cortisol level (B=9.25, 95% CI=3.24-15.27), serum Interleukin-6 level (B=2.76, 95% CI=0.72-4.79) and the serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) level (B=0.40, 95% CI=0.17-0.62)). However, such associations were not observed in the “Lonely and Isolated” participants. Secondly, only “Lonely and Isolated” participants at baseline were positively associated with depressive symptoms 6 years later (B=1.70, 95% CI=0.11-3.30). Finally, the associations between combinations of loneliness and isolated living status and physical disability were eliminated after adjusting the covariables. Conclusion: Four combinations of loneliness and isolated living status were associated with different impacts on stress-related biomarkers, depressive symptoms, and physical disability. Further dynamic investigations are warranted.
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