new research reveals social isolation and loneliness can actually shorten the lives of elderly people.
a british study looked at the social connections of over 6-thousand older men and women over an eight year period.
seniors who had little contact with their friends and relatives were more likely to die early ... regardless of their health or any other factors.
those who were lonely -- without friends or companionship -- tended to die earlier if they had other mental or physical problems.
researchers aren't sure why isolation is a strong predictor of death ... but say other studies have shown social contact is a vital aspect to health and happiness.