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Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Charlotte Jensen, 77, looks out of the front door with her dog, Spike, at her home in Salt Lake City, Nov. 26, 2013.

Loneliness, as a medical matter, has begun to capture the attention of health experts worldwide, because it can kill. A growing body of research compares loneliness to documented health killers like smoking and obesity. Lois M. Collins tackles the issue in a three-part series:

Part 1: Seniors in Search of a Song, looks at the ramifications of loneliness for those who are elderly and what can be done about it.

Part 2: Unsettled Refugees tackles challenges that face people who arrive, sometimes reluctantly, from war-torn parts of the world. Many must learn a new language as well as adapt to a different way of life.

Part 3: When the Ill Are Invisible chronicles the isolation of entire families when a child is severely ill or disabled.

The project was undertaken as part of The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships, a program of USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism.

EMAIL: [email protected], Twitter: Loisco