Loneliness: The silent epidemic hiding in plain sight

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

September 28, 2023

Millions of Americans face a public health threat that’s both overlooked and grossly underdiagnosed. It can’t be detected with a medical test or prevented by a vaccine. It doesn’t have a complex scientific name, dominate news headlines, spark a political debate or require social distancing.  

Social isolation can actually trigger its onset and lead to serious medical consequences including disease and early death. And while it doesn’t bear the hallmarks of other modern-day public health crises, given its wide reach, it demands action by Congress so that vast numbers of people across the nation may live longer, healthier lives.

It’s loneliness.