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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

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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

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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

MATIAS J. OCNER/Miami/TNS

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

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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

Brad Horrigan/TNS

3 states pursue public option for health coverage as feds balk

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

President Joe Biden has not yet delivered on his campaign promise to create a national public health insurance option, but three states have moved forward with plans of their own.

Colorado and Nevada this year passed public option plans — government-run health insurance plans — that are set to launch in 2023 and 2026, respectively. They ...Read more

Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS

From heavy metals to COVID-19, wildfire smoke is more dangerous than you think

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

When Erin Babnik awoke on the morning of Nov. 8, 2018, in Paradise, California, she thought the reddish glow outside was a hazy sunrise.

But the faint light soon gave way to darkness as smoke from the burgeoning Camp fire rolled in.

"The whole sky turned completely black, and there were embers flying around," Babnik recalled. "I remember it ...Read more

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Flashback: During Jim Crow, the Green Book provided lifesaving advice on the road for Black Chicagoans and others

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

In the 1930s, a Sunday drive in the country was the hallmark of a white middle-class lifestyle. When school was out for the summer, parents would pile their children into the car for a visit with relatives further afield. Or to lie on a beach in a resort town.

African Americans also felt the pull of the open road. But for them, a cloud hung ...Read more

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Ask the Pediatrician: How much sunscreen do kids need and how high should the SPF be?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Q: How high should the SPF be in the sunscreen I use on my children, and how much do they need when we’re at the pool for a few hours?

A: Warm, sunny days are wonderful. Children and adults benefit from spending time playing and exercising outdoors, but it's important to do so safely.

Help your family have fun in the sun while avoiding harm ...Read more

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Hesitant about COVID-19 vaccine development?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Some people may be hesitant to be vaccinated for COVID-19 because they think COVID-19 vaccines were developed too quickly. But today's successes are the result of many years of coronavirus research.

"To say that these messenger RNA vaccines were only developed in the past year would be erroneous," says Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases...Read more

Jeanne Kuang/The Kansas City Star/TNS

Facing exposure of public health shortcomings, Missouri plans 'massive investment'

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As Missouri continues to slog through the COVID-19 pandemic, health advocates hope Gov. Mike Parson’s appointment of an Illinois official to lead the Department of Health and Senior Services could be a new era for the state’s embattled public health system.

“I think you’ll see that whole department, that whole ...Read more

Kevin Moloney/TNS

Facing headwinds on new Alzheimer's drug, Biogen launches controversial campaign

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Do you sometimes lose your train of thought or feel a bit more anxious than is typical for you?

Those are two of the six questions in a quiz on a website co-sponsored by the makers of Aduhelm, a controversial new Alzheimer’s drug. But even when all responses to the frequency of those experiences are “never,” the quiz issues a “talk to ...Read more

Brian van der Brug/TNS/TNS

From air purifiers to filters, how to protect yourself from wildfire smoke

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

LOS ANGELES — Wildfire season is already off to a record-breaking start, and experts are warning that smoke from the state's biggest blazes may be as dangerous as the flames themselves.

In 2020, smoke from California's wildfires blanketed the state in ash, soot and thick, hazy skies for weeks, with some plumes from the fires reaching as far ...Read more

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Coming to terms with inherited ALS: With dreadful knowledge comes both fear and hope

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

PHILADELPHIA — Not long after Rickie Samuel learned that she had ALS, a heartbreakingly disabling and fatal neurological disease, she and several members of her family met with her treatment team to hear more horrible news.

Two years ago at Temple University Hospital, Terry Heiman-Patterson told them that Samuel’s illness was caused by an ...Read more

Frederic J. Brown/AFP/AFP/TNS

If you got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, will you need another shot? Experts say not to worry yet.

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

A new laboratory study suggests recipients of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine may need a second dose. Experts say: We’re not sure yet.

The study, which was posted by bioRxiv on Tuesday, found J&J’s vaccine to be less effective against the delta and lambda variants compared with the original virus. It suggests that a second dose, ...Read more

Dominick Reuter/AFP/TNS

Biogen calls criticism of Alzheimer's drug 'misinformation'

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Biogen Inc. fought back against criticism of the unusual circumstances that led to the U.S. approval of its Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm, saying in an open letter it has been the subject of “extensive misinformation and misunderstanding.”

Aduhelm, approved in June, is controversial because it hasn’t been shown to slow cognitive decline. Two...Read more