Health & Spirit

Mixed Thinking

Health / Scott LaFee /

Almost half of older adults (ages 50 to 80) think they'll develop dementia sometime in their life, according to a new National Poll on Healthy Aging from the University of Michigan. But nearly two-thirds said they were engaging in some kind of activity to either help prevent or minimize dementia, such as playing brain games or taking ...Read more

Taking Mental Note

Health / Scott LaFee /

Private insurance claims for mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety, have increased 108% since 2007, according to a new report. Major depressive disorder was the most common reason for a filed claim. Much of the increase was due to more claims by those aged 22 and younger. Among claimants 18 and younger, the most common ...Read more

Fat of the Land

Health / Scott LaFee /

Rural areas -- not cities, as in the past -- are the major contributor to the global rise in body mass index and the related obesity epidemic, reports STAT. A new study by the international NCD Risk Factor Collaboration looked at data from more than 112 million adults in 200 countries. They found that 55% of the global BMI increase in 2017 was...Read more

Taught Napping

Health / Scott LaFee /

Exhausted parents and teachers have long insisted that naps are beneficial -- for the kids, too. Now they've got some empirical evidence to back them up. A new University of California, Irvine study of nearly 3,000 middle schoolers found a correlation between midday napping and greater happiness, improved self-control, fewer behavioral ...Read more

Teasing's Terrible Twist

Health / Scott LaFee /

Teens who said they were teased or ridiculed about their weight increased their body mass by 33% each year compared to teens who had not been teased, according to a new national study.

The study followed 110 young people for 15 years, beginning at an average age of 11. All were either overweight (a body mass index above the 85th percentile) ...Read more

Tri, Tri, Again

Health / Scott LaFee /

For some years, physicians, engineers and sci-fi geeks have been trying to create a medical device similar (at least in inspiration) to the tricorder of Star Trek fame, which could measure, monitor and diagnose myriad human conditions without much more than a wave over the body.

No one has yet reproduced that ideal, but a Scottish company has...Read more

Cancer Alternative Treatments

Health / Scott LaFee /

A new study published in JAMA found that one-third of cancer patients have used alternative therapies. Most popular were herbal supplements, followed by visits to a chiropractor or osteopath.

Approximately 30% of the patients who tried alternative approaches said they did not inform their physician, mostly because their doctor didn't ask.

...Read more

The Coming Caregiving Crisis

Health / Scott LaFee /

With roughly 8 million middle-class Americans currently over the age of 75, the costs of needed housing and personal assistance is already a big and seemingly intractable issue. A new study suggests it will be bigger and even more problematic in 2029, when the number is projected to almost double to 14 million and more than half are expected ...Read more

Eke! Cigs

Health / Scott LaFee /

Electronic cigarettes contain a number of chemicals known to be harmful, most notably nicotine, heavy metals and compounds such as diacetyl, a flavorant linked to serious lung disease.

A new study out of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found a few other worrisome ingredients: bacterial and fungal toxins. Researchers examined 75 ...Read more

Smoke and Fears

Health / Scott LaFee /

Cancer deaths overall in the United States dropped more than 25% between 1991 and 2016, but the good news is not uniform and there is room for improvement. Nearly a third of all cancer deaths are due to cigarette smoking, but while tobacco use is in decline, some populations remain at a higher risk of mortality. For example, only about 6% of ...Read more


Health / Scott LaFee /

A nationwide survey of 600,000 people found an uptick in the number of teens and young adults experiencing mental health problems. Specifically, researchers found a 50% increase in depressive episodes among kids ages 12 to 17 and a 63% increase in adults 18 to 25. The latter age group also reported a 70% increase in more serious issues such as...Read more

Again: Vaccines Don't Cause Autism

Health / Scott LaFee /

Another major study, this one involving more than 650,000 Danish children, has found no link between autism and the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella. Multiple past studies have also proven no association, and public health experts consider the matter settled science.

The latest study followed children for more than a decade, beginning ...Read more


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