Author Affiliations: Departments of Medicine and Geriatrics (Dr Perissinotto) and Geriatrics (Dr Covinsky), University of California, San Francisco.
We appreciate the comments submitted by Rozzini and Trabucchi and Simons et al and commend their work in exploring the effects of living alone and social support on health. As demonstrated in our article,1 one cannot equate loneliness and social isolation because what they each measure captures a different aspect of overall social support. Because of its subjective nature, loneliness is a much more complex phenomenon and has health effects that can be seen even in those who are living with others and therefore not truly quantitatively socially isolated.
Perissinotto C, Covinsky KE. Health Status in Elderly Persons Living Alone—Reply. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(4):323-324. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.2136