Is it possible that the quality of one’s friendships and social connections is as strong a predictor of health and longevity as blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight?  Is it possible that the quality of your relationships with friends, neighbors, family and co-workers forms the foundation upon which your ability to remain resilient under stress resides?  The answer is YES and YES!  As I will suggest from some recent research, social isolation is both common and a formidable predictor of premature death and disease. In many respects this is a silent epidemic in our communities. Let’s briefly examine some of the evidence that supports how common loneliness is and how this ex translates into diminished quality of life and disease or as health, happiness, and longevity.