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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

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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

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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

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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

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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