A new study lends some scientific support to the idea that humans are social creatures.

The study, led by researchers at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health and published in the February issue of the journal Social Science & Medicine, suggests that social health and heart health are linked. The researchers found that low-income participants with a history of heart problems were less likely to have recurring heart attacks or chest pain if they lived in a county with high "social capital, " which means that trust, cooperation, and social networks are pervasive there.

"Although the association was not large," the researchers wrote in their study, "this finding has potentially large public health implications since acute coronary syndrome is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among both men and women in the United States."

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