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You'd think COVID gives smokers a reason to quit. But many did the opposite

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Valerie Howard thought smokers in Missouri had a big incentive to quit this past year: the fear of dying from COVID-19.

"But I think in some cases the converse happened," said Howard, Tobacco Control Program manager for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

"People were really struggling, there was a lot ...Read more

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Another COVID vaccine option? Here's what we know about the Novavax shot that's on the way

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Novavax, a Gaithersburg, Maryland-based pharmaceutical company, reported Monday that its coronavirus vaccine was highly effective against COVID-19 infections after testing in about 30,000 people.

The trial included about 500 people followed by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the results from the United States and Mexico ...Read more

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Lost sleep because of the pandemic? More people turning to doctors, new treatments to help cure newfound insomnia

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – As the country emerges from the pandemic, South Florida doctors say they are flooded with patients who are battling sleep disorders.

Some people can’t get back on a normal sleep schedule after working from home and staying up late. Others gained weight and their airway obstruction worsened. Then, there is a group ...Read more

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Colorado bill aims to give farmworkers easier access to medical care

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

SAN LUIS VALLEY, Colo. — A woman with pregnancy complications needed permission from her boss to visit a doctor. Community health volunteers were turned away from delivering food and COVID-19 information to worker housing. A farmworker had a serious allergic reaction but was afraid to seek treatment.

To Nicole Civita, policy director with ...Read more

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Ask the Pediatrician: Does my unvaccinated child still need to wear a mask?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Q: Does my unvaccinated child still need to wear a mask if the rest of our family has gotten their shots?

A: New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors in most cases. But we realize that families with children who are not...Read more

The Philadelphia Inquirer-Tribcast/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Breast cancer patients face insurance denials that complicate recovery: 'The emotional toll was enormous'

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

PHILADELPHIA – It had been a long four years since that July night when Marianne Sarcich first felt the lump in her right breast as she toweled off from a shower.

Breast cancer.

The cancer was caught early enough that it had not spread to other parts of her body, but doctors said she would need a mastectomy to remove the breast and the ...Read more

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Women now drink as much as men -- and are prone to sickness sooner

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Victoria Cooper thought her drinking habits in college were just like everyone else’s. Shots at parties. Beers while bowling. Sure, she got more refills than some and missed classes while nursing hangovers, but she couldn’t have a problem, she thought.

“Because of what my picture of alcoholism was — old men who brown-bagged it in a ...Read more

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Consumer Health: Treating cluster headaches

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, which makes this a good time to learn more about one of the most painful types of headache: the cluster headache.

Cluster headaches occur in cyclical patterns or cluster periods that can last from weeks to months. During a cluster period, headaches usually occur daily, sometimes several times a day...Read more

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Mayo Clinic Q And A: Viral skin bumps that are a common occurrence in childhood

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My 7-year-old son developed a small pink bump on his arm recently. Soon we started noticing more on his back and under his arms. His pediatrician said they were called "molluscum," and we didn't have to do anything about them. But I am worried about them spreading to his little sister. What are these spots, and should I be ...Read more

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No link between stress and infertility, doctor says, so stop telling couples, 'Oh, just relax and you'll get pregnant'

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Kasmirah Scarbrough wants people to know that infertility is not a dirty word.

The Montgomery, Illinois, resident has been on a journey to have a baby with her husband, Derick, since 2010.

“It’s a roller coaster of emotions,” she said. “It’s hope, it’s fear, it’s loss. It’s a constant barrage of ‘I feel really good about this...Read more

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For caffeine drinkers having surgery, withdrawal might be more than just unpleasant. A cardiologist thinks hospitals should worry more about it

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Given that 90% of adults are caffeine users, you'd think that hospitals might consider what those orders not to eat or drink before and after surgical procedures might mean for people who have to miss their daily doses of coffee, tea or Diet Coke.

Caffeine withdrawal = fatigue, nausea, muscle pain and wicked headaches.

Jeffrey Goldberger, a ...Read more

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Mayo Clinic Q And A: The connection between skin care and transplant

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: About a year ago, I had a heart transplant and I've been doing well since. At a recent follow-up visit, my transplant doctor recommended a skin check with a dermatologist. What's the connection?

ANSWER: It's always a good idea to be evaluated by a dermatologist for a baseline skin check, regardless of your past medical history...Read more

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With roots in civil rights, community health centers push for equity in the pandemic

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

In the 1960s, health care across the Mississippi Delta was sparse and much of it was segregated. Some hospitals were dedicated to Black patients, but they often struggled to stay afloat. At the height of the civil rights movement, young Black doctors launched a movement of their own to address the care disparity.

“Mississippi was Third World ...Read more

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My mom sent me to TikTok therapy -- and it kind of ... worked?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

My mom got on TikTok before I did. I wish I could pretend like this was some big shock — my Gen X mom scrolling with the likes of Gen Z! — but it wasn't.

This was her first experience on any social media platform. She wasn't interested in keeping up with the drama of her childhood friends on Facebook or following celebrity chatter on ...Read more

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Editorial: New drug for Alzheimer's: Sound science or profit-driven?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

The announcement of a new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease was greeted this week with celebration and skepticism. The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the drug Aduhelm over the objections of an FDA advisory committee and expert panels that questioned the medicine’s effectiveness in trials.

Almost immediately, the drugmaker�...Read more

JESSICA GRIFFIN/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Former Philly Mayor Michael Nutter had surgery for prostate cancer. He especially wants Black men to hear about his experience.

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Jun. 8—In December, after more than four years of medical monitoring while keeping his early-stage prostate cancer secret from his family, Michael Nutter had the walnut-size organ removed.

Now, fully recovered — fully, he stressed — the former Philadelphia mayor is advocating that men undergo regular screening for prostate cancer with the...Read more

Vashon Jordan Jr/Chicago Tribune/TNS

You can ask your doctors if they've gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, but you may not get an answer. Here's why

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

CHICAGO – As Illinois reopens and people catch up on long-postponed checkups and health care, some patients have a new question for their doctors: Are you vaccinated?

Many providers say they’re happy to share that information with patients, in hopes of assuaging their fears about getting the shots. But it’s not always easy information for...Read more

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UnitedHealthcare to halt payments for 'non-emergency' care in ERs

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

UnitedHealthcare wants to stop paying for non-emergency care that's provided in emergency rooms, a move that doctors and hospitals are criticizing for its potential to stop patients from quickly getting care in situations they believe are emergencies.

Officials at Minnetonka-based UnitedHealthcare, which is the nation's largest health insurer, ...Read more

Ask the EN experts: Snacking

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

We’ve become a snacking nation, and in fact, the idea of snacking has lost its stigma. What was once discouraged as a “spoiler of appetites” has now come to be considered a healthful habit, but it can be easy to forget that not all snacks are considered equally healthy.

Pay attention to the driving force behind the snack — are you ...Read more

How to shop for and store green beans

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

While one of the most iconic uses for the ever-popular green bean is in a creamy casserole at the holidays, fresh beans purchased in season at your local market can’t be beat. Their peak season is June through September, when you can find them in grocery stores, farmers markets and roadside stands.

Green beans are a tasty, low-calorie and ...Read more