Main Navigation
Advanced Search>>
Free Newsletter
Health Headlines

Get the latest news in prevention and health matters. This feature includes daily postings and recent archives to keep you up to date on health reports and wires around the world.
Weekly Wellness
Get informed with weekly wellness facts in a diversity of health topics from prevention to fitness and nutrition.
Great tips on what you need to know about keeping healthy and active all year round.

 << Previous|Next >>

Lasting Friendships can improve health

Lovers, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives may come and go. Friends are forever. Not fair-weather or convenience friends. They're as bountiful as pollen in spring. We're talking true, stick to your side no matter what friends.

As we age, they're the spice that keeps us vibrant and challenged. They're also good medicine. When your body sags, longtime buddies lift you up. When you're sick and bedridden, they brighten your outlook. When death comes knocking, they slam the door on evil thoughts.

"Good friends are the difference between just existing and living," says Paula David, a social worker at Baycrest Geriatric Centre. "The beauty (of lifelong friends) is you're lucky enough to know someone who's gone through the different stages in your life and who you can reminisce with.

The book The Healthy Boomer (McClelland and Stewart) by Toronto aging experts points to studies that indicate people who become isolated from friends due to illness, moving, divorce or the death of a partner are particularly vulnerable to heart disease and other health problems.

One of the first studies linking relationships and longevity came out of Alameda County, Calif., in recent years. Researchers found that people with the strongest social and community ties were likely to live longer, say the books Age Erasers for Men and Age Erasers for Women (McClelland and Stewart). Three other studies have duplicated the findings.

Trust, honesty, fun, understanding and loyalty are the top five things that mean the most in a friendship, according to a survey on the Friendship Page, an Australia-based Internet site ( that encourages surfers to find a Web friend.

Quotes about friendship:
"True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it be lost." - Charles Caleb Cotton.

"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out." - Walter Winchell.

"Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you." - Elbert Hubard.

"Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity." - Kahil Gibran.

Reference Source 39

Select a Channel