Health Advice





Risk of contracting HSV-2 can be reduced not eliminated

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a healthy man in my late 40s. I was married for 18 years to my first sexual partner. Since my divorce three years ago, I have had two additional partners. These were casual flings. I used condoms and did not catch anything. I was happy to meet a woman who stated she is not into casual sex. I see relationship potential. The ...Read more

The health benefits of social connections

Michael Corleone in "The Godfather" says, "My father taught me many things ... he taught me keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." Not the formula for a relaxed and happy life. Keep your friends close and your cortisol levels low -- now that's a much better recommendation for a long and healthy future.

A new study in the Journal of ...Read more


Commentary: You know who really needs to be schooled on critical race theory? Your doctor

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

The hint of an education on race and racism I received in medical school involved a historical overview of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment and retired eugenics practices. As I rotated on the wards, race came up again as a vague tool to help narrow a diagnosis. New Black patient with severe headache, blurry vision? Think hypertensive crisis.

I ...Read more

Photo by Brad Horrigan | Courant/TNS

Full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccines might lead more people to get them. What's the holdup?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

More than eight months ago, large studies found that both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines reduced the risk of illness by more than 90%. Yet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet granted them full approval, to the dismay of public-health officials eager to boost vaccination rates as the delta variant sends infections...Read more


Mayo Clinic Minute: Landing a jump properly prevents injury

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Major events like the Olympics can inspire people of all ages to try out a new sport or activity. Dr. Kelechi Okoroha, a Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon, wants people to get involved in new activities while recognizing some of the common sports injuries that can occur.

"Whenever you're starting a new sport, you always want to work your way into ...Read more


Sign-up window for free COBRA coverage for many laid-off workers closes this week

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

After being laid off from her job as a systems analyst for a specialty chemicals company in December, Gabriela de Pompignan opted to hang on to her former employer’s insurance coverage under the federal law known as COBRA. Typically, laid-off workers pick up the total cost of premiums under COBRA, but her company paid roughly 75% of the ...Read more

Don't get (cardiac) arrested for what you're eating

When the Boston Celtics' Reggie Lewis died of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in a playoff game against the Hornets in 1993, he was only 27 years old. As startling as such a sudden cardiac death (SCD) is, according to the Cleveland Clinic, there are 325,000 SCDs annually in the U.S. -- and they happen frequently to folks in their mid-30s to mid-40s....Read more

There's no evidence that COVID vaccine affects fertility

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: A friend is not getting vaccinated for COVID-19 because she thinks the vaccines could cause permanent fertility issues. Would you please comment on this? -- M.S.

ANSWER: I can understand why a woman would be concerned about losing fertility. However, this is just not a concern that is borne out by the science. One theoretical ...Read more

Heather Khalifa/TNS

Medical students begin careers amid pandemic, with white coats, high hopes and Narcan kits

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

PHILADELPHIA — Nicola Habash's mother held out the short white coat for him.

"Here you go, young man. This is it," she said as he slipped his arms through the sleeves.

With that, Habash was among 280 Thomas Jefferson University students who began their medical school journey Friday during a two-hour ceremony at the Crystal Tea Room of The ...Read more

Probiotic prep

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Many people are familiar with the term “probiotics” but may not actually know what they are. Probiotics are live microorganisms that exert health benefits on the host (the human) when they are ingested. These compounds are consumed regularly, since probiotics exist naturally in a wide range of foods, including yogurt, buttermilk, certain ...Read more

5 bedtime snack mistakes that can wreck your sleep

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Snacking before bed can be a tricky business. Eat too much, and get ready for a night of tossing and turning. Eat too little, and you might find yourself devouring your entire kitchen at 3 in the morning. It’s no secret that steering clear of refined carbs and junky foods before bed is one of the best ways to avoid a sleepless night. But even ...Read more

Mayo Clinic Q&A: Running for better health

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: A few neighbors formed a running group to train for a marathon in 2021. I’m thinking about joining them as I know that running can be good exercise, but I’ve never run before. Is running a marathon actually good for my health? Should I do certain things to avoid injuries?

ANSWER: Being active and engaging in regular ...Read more

Segregated Hospitals

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

The nonprofit Lown Institute has ranked 3,200 hospital systems across the country based on racial inclusivity, i.e., what their patient mix was in terms of race and socioeconomic status. It found stark differences between the most and least inclusive hospitals, which often were just miles apart.

For example, the most racially inclusive hospital...Read more

Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS

A day at a St. Louis County walk-in clinic shows why some vaccine holdouts are changing their minds

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

BERKELEY, Mo. — Charlotta Brooks had gone to four funerals in the past three weeks for loved ones who died from COVID-19. She lost her 81-year-old grandma as well as two cousins and her son's godmother, all in their 40s.

"Right around my age," said Brooks, 43.

Last Wednesday, Brooks walked four blocks from her home in Berkeley to the walk-in...Read more

Nate Guidry/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS

Barriers to care: Black Americans at higher risk for Alzheimer's and less likely to seek help

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

PITTSBURGH — Diane Powell understands what it’s like to watch a friend slip away.

Tina, a close friend whose last name she did not reveal, died from Alzheimer’s disease in her early 70s, just two years after its onset. Powell says her decline was rapid, radical and disturbing. By the time the progressive brain disease fully took hold, a ...Read more


Mayo Clinic Minute: The right way to get your body flexible

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Muscle flexibility is important for your body. But according to sports medicine experts at Mayo Clinic, the old way of stretching before you exercise isn't the right approach.

"Having flexible muscles and mobile joints can help reduce your overall injury risk. But it can also help improve your performance," says Dr. Chad Asplund, a Mayo Clinic ...Read more

Are you sitting on your blood pressure problems?

Antoninus, a teenage Roman emperor from 218 to 222, invented the whoopee cushion to tease his dinner guests. The modern version of the flatulent pillow appeared in the 1930s -- and millions have been sold to folks wanting to make guests pop out of their seats.

Breaking up sit-down sessions is a great idea -- but the benefits are no joke. At the...Read more

The Achilles tendon at risk from increased vigorous activity

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I ruptured my Achilles tendon playing basketball seven years ago at the age of 49. I was able to recover and continue playing. My question has to do with others who have suffered from this: Why do so many young people appear to tear their Achilles? I can think of a handful of guys I know who have recently done this, and all of ...Read more


COVID-19 vaccine urgency as delta variant continues to spread

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of viruses are expected to occur. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented, including a highly transmittable form of COVID-19 known as the delta variant.

The delta variant, which was first seen in December 2020 in India, is spreading globally. It's more...Read more

David Carpio/TNS

Maureen Downey: Masks: Science on one side. Parents on other.

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

ATLANTA — When Atlanta metro area school districts reopen in early August, most students will not be required to wear masks to combat the spread of COVID-19. And that has pediatricians worried.

In a letter last Tuesday to school superintendents, the Georgia chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, representing more than 1,800 Georgia ...Read more