Health & Spirit


Health / Scott LaFee /

Nearly 52 million people in the U.S. wear some sort of device with a heart rate tracker, such as a Fitbit or Apple Watch. New research suggests these devices may not necessarily be accurate for persons of color.

The reason: Some devices rely on green light optical sensors, which emit shorter wavelengths than the infrared sensors used in, say, ...Read more

Baseball Is Life

Health / Scott LaFee /

A new study finds that major league baseball players tend to fare better, healthwise, than the general population. Researchers looked at nearly 10,500 players from 1906 to 2006 and found that compared to the male population in general, they had significantly lower rates of death.

A longer baseball career equated with lower rates of death from...Read more

Grain of Truth

Health / Scott LaFee /

With Americans more health-conscious than ever (even if we're more talk than action), there are presumably healthier "whole-grain" versions of pretty much everything edible that contains grain. And we're gobbling them up. Well, OK ... some of us are.

A recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that whole grains ...Read more

Life's Simple 7

Health / Scott LaFee /

Most likely, you've heard this advice before. Maybe you ignored it; maybe you've forgotten. Either way, here it is again.

A recent French study looked at basic modifiable lifestyle practices that influence the risk of developing dementia later in life. These "simple 7" focus on cardiovascular health, which directly correlates with cognitive ...Read more

Stemming the Tide

Health / Scott LaFee /

Judging from the ubiquity of advertising by clinics touting stem cell-based treatments for everything from pain management to cancer, it may come as a surprise to learn there are very few actual stem cell therapies that are FDA-approved. Despite a crackdown by federal authorities on unlicensed stem cell clinics making unproven claims, they ...Read more

Deaths of Despair

Health / Scott LaFee /

Ah, to be a millennial! Or not. New data from the Trust for America's Health, a nonpartisan health policy and research group, suggests "deaths of despair" are up in this age cohort, now in their 20s and 30s (born between 1981 and 1996). The number of drug-related deaths rose 108% between 2007 and 2017. Alcohol-related deaths rose nearly 70% in...Read more

Unexpected Pain

Health / Scott LaFee /

A surprising and disturbing number of Americans are ill-prepared for the financial consequences of a health emergency. In a new survey by Kaiser Permanente, only 44% of families said they had funds or cash in hand to cover a $500 emergency health expense; 13% said they would need to redirect funds from their food budget.

Obesity Up, Diabetes ...Read more

Caregiving Not Quite So Bad

Health / Scott LaFee /

For decades, experts, studies and the media have reported that caregiving takes a toll on the caregiver's health -- for example, boosting levels of inflammation and weakening the immune system. A recent Johns Hopkins University study analyzed 30 papers on immune function in caregivers and concluded the link has been overstated and the ...Read more

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


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