Health & Spirit

University of Maryland researchers testing potential vaccine for E. coli, Shigella

Health / Health & Fitness /

Researchers at the University of Maryland's medical school are testing a potential vaccine for E. coli and other diarrheal diseases.

In a news release, the university wrote that Dr. Wilburn Chen and Dr. Eileen Barry will test a vaccine developed at the School of Medicine's Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health.

The testing is being ...Read more

Facebook ads mislead patients at risk of HIV

Health / Health & Fitness /

HIV prevention advocates say widespread social media advertisements that misrepresent side effects of a preventative drug could do serious harm in the fight to eliminate the disease, especially among those most at risk who also might not trust the medical community.

"It's causing undue duress and alarm and frankly could result in people ...Read more

Time-restricted dieting can lead to weight loss, lower blood pressure

Health / Health & Fitness /

Intermittent fasting has shown success in helping people lose weight, but some people can find it difficult to eat normally most days and then severely restrict their food intake other days.

A new study published in the journal Cell Metabolism offers an alternative -- time-restricted eating.

Time-restricted eating allows you to eat the same ...Read more

Mayo Clinic Q&A: Treatment for vaginal prolapse depends on severity, symptoms

Health / Health & Fitness /

Dear Mayo Clinic: What is the best long-term treatment for vaginal prolapse? I am in my late 50s.

A: There are nonsurgical and surgical treatment options for vaginal prolapse, and the treatment that is best usually depends on the severity of the condition and how much the symptoms are bothering you. Surgery often is recommended to repair the ...Read more

'Obamacare' insurers may win a $12 billion claim in Supreme Court

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court gave a sympathetic hearing Tuesday to health insurers who were promised their losses would be covered if they expanded coverage under the Affordable Care Act, only to have the Republican-controlled Congress later refuse to pay.

"This case involves a massive government bait-and-switch and the fundamental question ...Read more

Mayo Clinic Minute: Minimally invasive procedure for emphysema

Health / Health & Fitness /

Almost 15.7 million people in the U.S. report they've been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of the most common forms of COPD is emphysema. Symptoms include breathing difficulty, cough, mucus production and wheezing.

But a minimally invasive procedure is...Read more

'Warm' hotlines deliver help before mental health crisis heats up

Health / Health & Fitness /

A lonely and anxious Rebecca Massie first called the Mental Health Association of San Francisco "warmline" during the 2015 winter holidays.

"It was a wonderful call," said Massie, now 38 and a mental health advocate. "I was laughing by the end, and I got in the holiday spirit."

Massie, a San Francisco resident, later used the line multiple ...Read more

'Obamacare' back at Supreme Court, with billions for insurers on the line

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- More than $12 billion is at stake for the nation's health insurers Tuesday when the Supreme Court hears another Affordable Care Act case.

For the federal government, the potential damages could be far greater, as its reputation as a reliable partner to private businesses is on the line.

Unlike earlier Obamacare cases before the ...Read more

UnitedHealth Group buying specialty pharmacy

Health / Health & Fitness /

UnitedHealth Group's Optum division for health care services is acquiring a Michigan-based specialty pharmacy company that also provides infusion services for patients.

According to deal terms announced Monday, UnitedHealth is paying $4 per share for Diplomat Pharmacy Inc. while also assuming the company's debt.

The acquired pharmacy business ...Read more

Former Outcome Health executive pleads guilty to charges for alleged role in $1 billion fraud scheme

Health / Health & Fitness /

CHICAGO -- Former Outcome Health executive Ashik Desai pleaded guilty Monday to wire fraud charges for his alleged role in a nearly $1 billion fraud scheme at the Chicago-based company.

Desai was released on condition of bond after his federal court appearance in Chicago, and surrendered his passport Desai, now 26, served as Outcome's executive...Read more

Patient-induced trauma: Hospitals learn to defuse violence

Health / Health & Fitness /

SAN DIEGO -- When Mary Prehoden gets dressed for work every morning, her eyes lock on the bite-shaped scar on her chest.

It's a harsh reminder of one of the worst days of her life. Prehoden, a nurse supervisor at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego, was brutally attacked last year by a schizophrenic patient who was off his medication. He lunged at...Read more

As his wife's caregiver, a doctor discovers what's missing at health care's core

Health / Health & Fitness /

Caring for someone with a serious illness stretches people spiritually and emotionally, often beyond what they might have thought possible.

Dr. Arthur Kleinman, a professor of psychiatry and anthropology at Harvard University, calls this "enduring the unendurable" in his recently published book, "The Soul of Care: The Moral Education of a ...Read more

California surprise-billing law protects patients but aggravates many doctors

Health / Health & Fitness /

More than two years after California's surprise-billing law took effect, there's one thing on which consumer advocates, doctors and insurers all agree: The law has been effective at protecting many people from bills they might have been saddled with from doctors who aren't in their insurance network.

But the consensus stops there.

"In general,...Read more

Hair dye, straighteners may increase breast cancer risk, especially for black women, study

Health / Health & Fitness /

A large study led by government scientists is renewing concern about whether chemicals used to dye and straighten hair raise the risk of cancer.

National Institutes of Health researchers found an increased chance of breast cancer among women who regularly used permanent hair dye, particularly African-Americans. Black women who used dye at least...Read more

Healthy Men: The epidemic — and consequences — of male loneliness

Health / Health & Fitness /

Loneliness kills. According to former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, isolation and weak social connections "are associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking fifteen cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity." Even when it's not fatal, loneliness makes life a lot less pleasant. We'll talk...Read more

Candidates are betting big on health. Is that what voters really want?

Health / Health & Fitness /

The one thing we know about health care in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race is that it's a top issue for voters.

The latest Tracking Poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found 24% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said they want to hear the candidates discuss health care. That's twice the total for the next top ...Read more

Mayo Clinic Q&A: Scoliosis most often develops during growth spurt just before puberty

Health / Health & Fitness /

Dear Mayo Clinic: What causes scoliosis? Do genetics play a role? I was diagnosed with it as a teenager, and several of my cousins had it, too. Now I'm worried that my daughter, who's 8, may be affected when she gets older. Should she be checked for scoliosis soon?

A: The exact cause of scoliosis isn't known. But it tends to run in families, ...Read more

UnitedHealth Group touts Optum effect on its corporate growth

Health / Health & Fitness /

UnitedHealth Group is projecting revenue growth to pick up a bit next year led by its Optum division for health care services, which includes a fast-growing network of medical clinics and surgery centers.

The Minnesota-based company provided its first financial outlook for 2020 during an investor conference Tuesday in New York.

Chief executive...Read more

He's only 2 and facing health problems far from home. Donors will help at Christmas

Health / Health & Fitness /

Yobania and Jeffrey Nieto are more than 3,000 miles from home, and on a desperate mission they never anticipated would last this long, or be this hard: finding medical help for their 2-year-old son, Jesseht.

Jesseht suffers from a disorder called hypotonia, or an abnormally low level of muscle tone, and other conditions that affect his ...Read more

Mayo Clinic Q&A: Mitral valve repair with minimally invasive heart surgery

Health / Health & Fitness /

Dear Mayo Clinic: Is minimally invasive heart surgery to repair a mitral valve a safer option than open-heart surgery? Is it common for a surgeon to have to switch to an open-heart procedure after starting the surgery?

A: Both minimally invasive heart surgery and traditional surgery that involves opening the chest bone -- a procedure known as ...Read more