(HealthDay News) — Adults living alone have higher reported feelings of depression than those living with others, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in National Health Statistics Reports, a publication from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Laryssa Mykyta, PhD, from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, MD, used data from the 2021 National Health Interview Survey to describe differences in self-reported feelings of depression and living arrangement by selected sociodemographic characteristics among adults.

Mykyta found that in 2021, 16.0% of adults lived alone. For both men and women, across most race and Hispanic-origin groups and by family income, reported feelings of depression were higher for adults living alone versus those living with others (6.4 versus 4.1%). The likelihood of reporting feelings of depression was almost twice as high for adults who reported never or rarely receiving social and emotional support and living alone versus those never or rarely receiving social and emotional support and living with others (19.6 versus 11.6%). However, among those who reported sometimes, usually or always receiving social and emotional support, there were no significant differences in reported feelings of depression, regardless of living alone or living with others.

“Social and emotional support has been shown to be protective of health and this finding suggests that additional studies could examine the relationship between social and emotional support, living alone and health outcomes,” Mykyta writes.

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