A study of people age 50 and older in the United Kingdom found that those who were lonely had a 14 percent greater risk of dying during the six-year study. Feelings of isolation can have twice the impact on health as does obesity on aging people. Previous studies have shown that loneliness in older people can lead to high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, depression, heart attack, and stroke. Retirees should think twice before picking up stakes and moving to a new area for retirement if that means giving up a social support system. People need to feel valued and be involved in life. The research indicated, however, that some people actually prefer solitude (Guardian, February 16).