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Loneliness and Social Isolation in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan: An International Survey

To understand more about how people view the issue of loneliness and social isolation, the Kaiser Family Foundation, in partnership with The Economist, conducted a cross-country survey of adults in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan. The survey included additional interviews with individuals who report always or often feeling lonely, left out, isolated or that they lack companionship to better understand the personal characteristics and life circumstances associated with these feelings, the reported causes of loneliness, and how people are coping. More than a fifth of adults in the United States and the United Kingdom as well as one in ten adults in Japan say they often or always feel lonely, feel that they lack companionship, feel left out, or feel isolated from others, and many of them say their loneliness has had a negative impact on various aspects of their life. About six in ten say there is a specific cause of their loneliness, and they are also more likely to report experiencing negative life events in the past two years, such as a negative change in financial status. Those reporting loneliness in each country report having fewer confidants than others and two-thirds or more say they have just a few or no relatives or friends living nearby who they can rely on for support. Many in the U.S. and U.K. view the increased use of technology as a major reason why people are lonely or socially isolated, whereas fewer people in Japan say the same. But, for those experiencing loneliness or social isolation personally, they are divided as to whether they think social media makes their feelings of loneliness better or worse.

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Public Opinion on Chronic Illness in America

The April 2018 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds six in ten say they or someone in their immediate family have a chronic health condition that requires ongoing medical treatment, and a third of those dealing with a chronic condition requiring ongoing medical care say they or their household have had problems paying medical bills in the past 12 months. This poll finding also looks at how the public views policies aimed at preventing chronic disease in America.

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Ebola: Five Key Questions

Ebola virus has a unique set of characteristics that determine how and why its spreads, and how deadly it can be. To better understand Ebola, this infographic compares it to twelve other infectious diseases that continue to represent public health challenges today and asks and answers five key questions about the disease.

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Navigating Recovery: Health Care Financing and Delivery Systems in Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands

This brief identifies key issues and short and long-term options for recovery around the health care financing and delivery systems in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which caused significant physical damage to the territories. It draws on insights from a Nov. 30 roundtable discussion with leaders and experts representing a variety of perspectives on Medicaid policy, health insurance and care delivery systems, and disaster recovery.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

U.S. Virgin Islands: Fast Facts

This fact sheet presents demographic, economic, and health indicators of the U.S. Virgin Islands and briefly discusses some of the territory’s short and long-term challenges facing the territory after Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck the island in September 2017.

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Public Health in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

This issue brief provides a snapshot of key public health challenges in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. It discusses topics such as mortality, food, water, sanitation, health care infrastructure, and mental health on the island in the wake of the storm.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Most Americans Say Federal and State Governments Are Not Doing Enough to Combat Prescription Painkiller and Heroin Abuse; Large Majorities Believe Wide Range of Strategies Would be Effective

 As the White House and Congress continue to debate new funding and other actions to address the nation’s opioid epidemic, the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that most Americans believe the federal government is not doing enough to combat the recent increases in the number of people who are…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Flint Fallout: Water Supply Safety Now Near Top of Public’s National Health Concerns, Trailing Cancer

In the wake of the lead crisis affecting drinking water in Flint, Mich., the public now ranks contaminated drinking water among the most serious national health issues, trailing cancer, according to the April Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. When asked about a series of health issues facing the country, more than…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Why Painkiller Addiction and Abuse Are Rising Health-Care Priorities

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman uses new polling to explore why painkiller abuse and addiction is rising as a health issue among state and federal policymakers. All previous columns by Drew Altman are available online.

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