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Massachusetts report largest single-year decline in opioid-related overdose deaths in two decades

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

BOSTON — Massachusetts experienced a 10% drop in opioid-related overdose deaths from 2022 to 2023, the largest single-year decline over the past two decades and a trend that is expected to continue based on early data from 2024, according to a report released Wednesday morning.

But even as experts with the Department of Public Health signaled...Read more

Gross-tasting medications can be a barrier to treatment. Philly researchers developed a 'bitter blocker' to help.

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Peihua Jiang knows how difficult it can be to convince a child to take a sip of a bitter liquid medication.

When they were young, his kids sometimes balked at taking medicines because they didn't like how they tasted. And as a neurobiologist, Jiang knew the medical issues at stake went beyond a minor inconvenience.

Swallowing pills can be ...Read more

Environmental Nutrition: Gluten-free cookies, crackers, chips

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

The onslaught of gluten-free foods has been a tremendous help to those managing celiac disease and other conditions requiring gluten avoidance. However, it has also led to misunderstandings for some trying to eat more healthfully.

Misconceptions include believing all gluten-free foods are inherently better for you than their gluten-containing ...Read more

What is the healthiest sugar substitute?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Not going to lie about it: Sugar is pretty fantastic. And there are few of us who can ignore the siren call of a decadent brownie or a dish of ice cream. But we tend to eat quite a bit more sugar than we should — as we’re supposed to eat just six to nine teaspoons a day.

Good news: There are some smart (and sweet) alternatives to sugar that...Read more

Seeking ‘fitspiration’ on social media?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Perhaps you've thought about taking up a new exercise program, eating better, or some other ways to improve your health. That's great! Or, as my grandfather would say, “there's nothing wrong with that” — his highest possible praise.

In fact, few medical treatments rival the massive health benefits of regular exercise. But how do you ...Read more

Mayo Clinic Q&A: Understanding chronic kidney disease

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease but did not have any symptoms, so far as I knew. Are there early symptoms that I missed? Is this hereditary? Should I be advising family members? Is this curable? Am I at risk for other issues?

ANSWER: In its early stages, chronic kidney disease rarely causes noticeable symptoms. ...Read more

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Editorial: Why is Florida hell-bent on stripping children of health insurance?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

To appreciate just how little the state of Florida cares for its children, look no further than the state’s arguments for kicking more kids off KidCare, a low-cost health insurance program.

The count was already at 22,500 when a federal judge last month dismissed Florida’s suit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and ...Read more

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Mayo Clinic Minute: Menopause and the heart connection

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Women experience menopause at different ages — and different ways — which can, among other things, affect their heart health.

The average age of natural menopause in the U.S is 52. There's early menopause, under age 45, and premature menopause, under age 40, which may affect a very small group of women. There is also premature ovarian ...Read more

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Mayo Clinic Minute: Poor sleep can be linked to stroke

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Sleep problems can increase someone's risk of stroke. Sleep problems can include too little sleep (less than five hours), too much sleep (more than nine hours), poor quality, difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, prolonged napping, and snoring and breathing cessation.

In this Mayo Clinic Minute, Dr. Stephen English, a Mayo Clinic ...Read more

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California becomes latest state to try capping health care spending

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

California’s Office of Health Care Affordability faces a herculean task in its plan to slow runaway health care spending.

The goal of the agency, established in 2022, is to make care more affordable and accessible while improving health outcomes, especially for the most disadvantaged state residents. That will require a sustained wrestling ...Read more

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Do not buy these chocolate bars, cones and gummies after hospitalizations, FDA warns

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers to stay away from microdosing candies that have sickened 12 people across eight states.

While this isn’t a recall, most of which are made by companies on their own, the FDA is saying don’t buy, don’t sell, don’t use Diamond Shruumz microdosing and macrodosing products....Read more

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren offers bill aimed at preventing future Steward-like crisis

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

BOSTON — The Bay State senior U.S. senator says she will introduce legislation to prevent another Steward Health Care System crisis from happening in the future and that the law would claw back some of the money made by the company’s CEO.

U.S. Elizabeth Warren held a press conference in the shadow of Boston’s St. Elizabeth Medical Center ...Read more

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Federal judge rules unconstitutional Florida's ban on gender-affirming care for minors

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Some of Florida’s restrictions on medical care for transgender children and adults are unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by transgender Floridians and their families against the state.

“Transgender opponents are of course free to hold their beliefs. But they are not free to discriminate against ...Read more

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US has first case of sexually transmitted ringworm

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

ATLANTA — A rare fungus recently caused the first-ever U.S. case of sexually transmitted ringworm. Reported in JAMA Dermatology on Wednesday, a new study helmed by doctors from NYU Langone Health revealed the case involved a New York City man in his 30s.

The unnamed man had sex with multiple men in multiple countries during a recent trip, NBC...Read more

PFAS are toxic ‘forever chemicals’ that linger in our air, water, soil and bodies – here’s how to keep them out of your drinking water

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Close to half of America’s tap water contains PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. These “forever chemicals” are in thousands of products, from clothing and cosmetics to cleaning products, and are linked to cancers, liver damage, high cholesterol and asthma.

Dr. Jessica Ray, assistant professor of civil and ...Read more

Summertime can be germy: A microbiologist explains how to avoid getting sick at the barbecue, in the pool or on the trail

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

As flowers bloom and temperatures climb, many are eager to get back outside. But while the Sun may be shining, there is a dark side that can make the great outdoors not so great.

Gangs of germs are lurking in the woods, in the soil, in the water and in your food, ready to rain on your summer parade.

I’m a professor of ...Read more

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Underrepresentation in clinical trials leads to cancer disparities, says Fox Chase Cancer Center's Camille Ragin

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Cancer survival rates are up, and death rates are down — yet racial minorities still bear a disproportionate burden of cancer, according to a new report from the American Association for Cancer Research.

Fox Chase Cancer Center's Camille Ragin, who studies racial disparities in cancer, says underrepresentation in clinical trials is among the ...Read more

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Washington medical cannabis users get break from the nation's highest pot taxes

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Thanks to a new state law, Washingtonians with a medical cannabis card can get a break from the nation's highest tax on the drug.

The change, which took effect Thursday, could nudge more people to get medical cards and potentially depress revenues from the cannabis tax, which generated nearly $470 million in fiscal year 2023....Read more

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Fresno health care system, doctor group settle over 'unprecedented neurosurgeon walkout'

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

FRESNO, Calif. — After a 2020 dispute between Fresno’s biggest health care system and a physicians group put in jeopardy the central San Joaquin Valley’s only Level I trauma center status, the two sides have reached a settlement following a lawsuit.

Community Health System announced Monday in a press release a $1.2 million settlement with...Read more

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West Nile virus detected in Sacramento mosquitoes for the first time this year

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile Virus in Sacramento County for the first time this year, officials said Monday.

The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District reported Monday that a sample of mosquitoes trapped in South Land Park, as well as two dead birds — in Land Park and the neighborhood near...Read more