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Health & Spirit

Night owls might face more health issues and early

Health / Health & Fitness /

Bad news, night owls.

Evening types have a 10 percent higher risk of dying than those up and at 'em in the morning, according to a new study from Northwestern Medicine and the United Kingdom's University of Surrey.

"This is the first study, to our knowledge, that was able to look at mortality risk," said Kristen Knutson, an associate professor...Read more

Liver transplants are better all around when you hold the ice

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To preserve more livers for transplant patients who desperately need them, surgeons should take newly harvested organs out of their ice baths and immerse them instead in a warm, nutrient-rich soup, new research suggests.

In a head-to-head comparison of the two methods, preserving donor livers in conditions that mimic a living body resulted in ...Read more

How to be smarter about buying organic

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You see the labels out there -- organic, cage-free, natural -- but what does it all mean?

If you're trying to make better shopping choices for the environment by choosing "greener" or ethically made products, you're going to be bombarded by dozens of labels purporting to measure up to a certain standard, and probably charging more money for the...Read more

Don't be surprised if your doctor asks you about guns

Health / Health & Fitness /

By now you are probably used to the probing questions your doctor asks during your annual checkup.

How have you been sleeping lately? Any increased stress at work? Problems at home? Have you engaged in any risky sexual activity?

Don't be surprised if, in the future, the questioning turns to guns.

With gun violence on the rise over the past ...Read more

Women's wellness: Understanding depression and the gender gap

Health / Health & Fitness /

Women are nearly twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression. Depression can occur at any age.

Some mood changes and depressed feelings occur with normal hormonal changes. But hormonal changes alone don't cause depression. Other biological factors, inherited traits, and personal life circumstances and experiences are associated with ...Read more

4 health foods that are actually bad for you

Health / Health & Fitness /

Healthy living can be harder than it sounds. You know you should exercise more and eat more nutritious food, of course, but did you also know that just because a food calls itself "healthy" doesn't mean it is? Ditto calling something vegan or calling it carb-free. You have to look beyond the labels and check out the ingredients to see which ...Read more

Walmart and CVS have 15,000 combined stores. Why are both trying to buy health insurance companies?

Health / Health & Fitness /

The economics of healthcare in America is making for some strange bedfellows. CVS, the behemoth pharmacy chain, plans to buy Aetna, a 22-million member health insurer, for $69 billion. Less than two weeks ago, it became public that Walmart, where one in four Americans shop each week, is considering an acquisition of another insurer, Humana.

Why...Read more

When it comes to longevity, better late is a nonstarter

Health / Health & Fitness /

Night owls beware: A new study of mortality rates of nearly half a million people finds that individuals who strongly preferred to stay up late were more likely to be dead at the end of a six-and-a-half-year period.

The findings, described in the journal Chronobiology International, offer the first study linking mortality risk to night-owl ...Read more

New definition of Alzheimer's changes how disease is researched

Health / Health & Fitness /

When you think of dementia, most people automatically think of Alzheimer's disease, too. But, under a new definition of Alzheimer's, the two terms no longer will be considered interchangeable.

The new definition is part of a new framework for researching Alzheimer's disease that the Alzheimer's Association and the National Institute on Aging ...Read more

What ails America? The answer varies from state to state

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The state of the union's health is improving. But it is doing so very unequally, and recent signs of progress are in danger of being reversed by diseases of excess and despair, including obesity, depression, suicide and substance abuse.

Those are the broad conclusions of a new roundup of Americans' vital signs published Tuesday in the Journal ...Read more

Mississippi's Medicaid work requirement would cause 20,000 to lose coverage

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON--An estimated 20,000 poor parents in Mississippi would lose health coverage over five years under a state proposal to require Medicaid recipients to work for their benefits, researchers at Georgetown University reported Tuesday.

Childless adults aren't eligible for coverage under Medicaid in Mississippi, where children, seniors, low-...Read more

Calif. bill would put state in charge of prices in commercial health care market

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- In one of the most aggressive efforts in the nation to curb soaring health care spending, a California measure introduced Monday would put the state in charge of setting prices for hospital stays, doctor's visits and most other medical services covered by commercial insurers.

The bill, backed by labor unions and consumer ...Read more

Mayo Clinic minute: Daytime sleepiness linked to Alzheimer's

Health / Health & Fitness /

Do you catch yourself yawning during the day and yearning for an afternoon nap? You could be at more risk for Alzheimer's disease. A recent study published in JAMA Neurology found a potential link between excessive daytime sleepiness and the memory loss disease. Researchers took a look at imaging scans of the brains of several hundred patients ...Read more

Women's wellness: Signs of an ectopic pregnancy, treatment and future fertility

Health / Health & Fitness /

According to Dr. Tarek Khalife, a Mayo Clinic Health System OB-GYN physician, ectopic pregnancies are rare. However, he says in the off chance an ectopic pregnancy is discovered, it's a situation that must be taken seriously. Often, patients have questions and are looking for answers to understand this condition.

"Ectopic pregnancy occurs when ...Read more

4 myths about fibroids

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Uterine fibroids are common. Approximately 80 percent of black women and 70 percent of white women will develop fibroids in their lifetimes. Dr. Ebbie Stewart, a Mayo Clinic OB-GYN, says research has been scarce, and this may be one reason why myths about the condition exist.

Stewart says fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus.

...Read more

Anxious immigrants avoiding medical care

Health / Health & Fitness /

LOS ANGELES -- They need to prepare, they say, in case they never come back.

Patients at the St. John's Well Child & Family Center in South Los Angeles have recently started asking for copies of their medical records. Some request extra medicine from their doctors, taking home as much as they'll supply.

"They want to have a stockpile," clinic ...Read more

After a tough workout, gym buffs are turning to IV drips, vitamin shots and freezing their butts off

Health / Health & Fitness /

When Amber Dodson needs a break from her rigorous workout regimen, she steps nearly naked into a high-tech machine that looks like a giant energy drink can. Only her head is visible as the temperature in the chamber plummets to minus 292 degrees Fahrenheit for three minutes, liquid nitrogen vapor billowing down the sides.

"I tend to get ...Read more

Heart sends out signals to fatty tissue

Health / Health & Fitness /

Overweight patients are often told that extra pounds are bad for their hearts.

It turns out the heart itself may be "talking" to fat.

That is the thrust of ongoing research by cardiologist Walter J. Koch, a professor at Temple University's Katz School of Medicine.

Koch was awarded a $1 million grant from the American Heart Association this ...Read more

Atlanta struggles to meet MLK's legacy on health care

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ATLANTA -- While public safety commissioner Bull Connor's police dogs in 1963 attacked civil rights protesters in Birmingham, Ala., leaders in Martin Luther King Jr.'s hometown of Atlanta were burnishing its reputation as "the city too busy to hate."

Yet 50 years after the civil rights leader was killed, some public health leaders here wonder ...Read more

Americans have mixed feelings about the ACA's future — but like their plans

Health / Health & Fitness /

Most Americans are happy with the insurance they buy on the individual market, yet those same people think the markets are collapsing before their eyes.

A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, released this week, found that 61 percent of people enrolled in marketplace plans are satisfied with their insurance choices and that a majority say they...Read more