Effects of life events and social isolation on stroke and coronary heart disease

Janine Gronewold, Miriam Engels, Sarah van de Velde, Thomas Kofi Mensah Cudjoe, Ela Emsal Duman, Martha Jokisch, Christoph Kleinschnitz, Karl Lauterbach, Raimund Erbel, Karl Heinz Jöckel, Dirk M. Hermann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic represents a severe, life-changing event for people across the world. Life changes may involve job loss, income reduction due to furlough, death of a beloved one, or social stress due to life habit changes. Many people suffer from social isolation due to lockdown or physical distancing, especially those living alone and without family. This article reviews the association of life events and social isolation with cardiovascular disease, assembling the current state of knowledge for stroke and coronary heart disease. Possible mechanisms underlying the links between life events, social isolation, and cardiovascular disease are outlined. Furthermore, groups with increased vulnerability for cardiovascular disease following life events and social isolation are identified, and clinical implications of results are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)735-747
Number of pages13
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Pandemics
  • Risk factors
  • Social isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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