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Washington now in standoff with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Affordable Care Act waiver plan

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

ATLANTA — Tensions are near a breaking point between the White House and Gov. Brian Kemp over Kemp’s plan to block Georgians’ access to the Affordable Care Act’s federal health insurance shopping website, healthcare.gov.

In a letter last week, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told Kemp health aides that Georgia has ...Read more

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Mayo Clinic Q and A: Benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation for COPD and other lung conditions

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My father has had COPD for years, but he was hospitalized for worsening symptoms related to his condition. His health care provider advised that he should begin a pulmonary rehabilitation program. He is hesitant and unsure of what to expect. What are the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation in people with COPD? Do you recommend...Read more

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Facing recall, Gov. Gavin Newsom draws support from health care allies

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Californians upset with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pandemic rules — which shuttered businesses, kept schoolkids at home and mandated masks — helped fuel the September recall election that could spell the end of his political career.

But among the allies rushing to Newsom’s defense are doctors, nurses, dentists and other ...Read more

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COVID renews interest in radiation, but doctors caution against pilgrimages to radon-filled mines

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

BOULDER, Mont. — Twice a year, Brian Tichenor makes the 1,200-mile drive each way from his home in Kansas to a defunct uranium mine in Montana, where he takes an elevator 85 feet below the surface to sit amid radioactive radon gas to ease the pain from his chronic eye condition.

“I found it like I think a lot of people do,” said Tichenor,...Read more

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Mayo Clinic Minute: How to start a running routine

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Running is one of the easiest ways to work out and stay fit. But for beginners, how do you get started?

"I think the best part about running is that it's a very simple exercise. All you really need is a pair of shoes and the motivation," says Dr. Chad Asplund, a Mayo Clinic sports medicine physician.

But he says it's important to start a ...Read more

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Ask the Pediatrician: What should parents keep in mind about water safety at summer camp?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Q: How can I be sure my kids will be safe while swimming and kayaking at summer camp?

A: Swimming and other water activities are a fun part of many camp programs for children. It's important to choose a camp that take steps to keep kids safe in and around pools, lakes and other bodies of water.

If you're considering a camp for your child, here...Read more

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These obese mice lost weight by 'sweating' their fat, Penn team finds

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

PHILADELPHIA — In search of better treatments for type 2 diabetes and other consequences of obesity, Taku Kambayashi has long wondered if he could harness a bodily function that most people think about in a very different context: the immune system. There was evidence to suggest this approach might work, as certain types of immune cells were ...Read more

Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS

New state laws hamstring public health officials

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Although no one wants to see it happen, some state and local public health officials soon may recommend reinstating mask mandates, imposing curfews, limiting travel and even reclosing schools and businesses.

But in numerous states, including many with low vaccination rates and escalating COVID-19 hospitalizations, newly minted laws may prevent ...Read more

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Mayo Clinic Minute: Study shows masks can prevent COVID-19

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Mayo Clinic researchers recently published a study that shows the proper use of masks reduces the spread of respiratory droplets. The findings strongly support the protective value and effectiveness of widespread mask use and maintaining physical distance in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Do face masks work at preventing COVID-19 transmission...Read more

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Diabetics in Black, brown communities get more amputations at a higher rate than others. 'If you want to live, go get yourself checked out.'

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

CHICAGO — Austin resident Betty Williams, 82, lost her big toe on her right foot to diabetes.

Looking back, she said she didn’t notice any health concerns that would indicate she had it. Her daughter Yolanda Williams, however, noticed her mother couldn’t put her shoes on due to swelling. After closer inspection, she also found a sore on ...Read more

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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 | bhorrigan@courant.com/Hartford 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

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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

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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

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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