Health Advice



The 'M' in MD Doesn't Mean 'Man'

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A recent study found that women physicians were more than twice as likely as their male colleagues to have patients omit their "doctor" titles when addressing them. The researchers used a natural language processing algorithm to comb through nearly 91,000 messages sent from patients in the Mayo Clinic electronic medical record, picking out the...Read more

The Scoop on Scoping

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

The first randomized trial of colonoscopy screening is out and, well, it's a complicated picture. The data showed that inviting people to get a colonoscopy didn't reduce colon cancer deaths, but it did reduce cancer incidence by 18%.

That's sort of disappointing news for advocates who believed screening would effectively render colon cancer ...Read more

Windows to the Heart

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Using artificial intelligence tools, researchers studied retinal scans of 88,000 participants in a study and concluded the approach may be a viable way to detect cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke based on the health of the retina's network of blood vessels.

Doing so would mean no blood tests or blood ...Read more

Good Things Come to Those Who Weight

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

OK, it's a new year, so this probably means you're back at the gym reintroducing yourself to staff. Good for you. Hop on that treadmill or stationary bike and go for it. Then hit the weights.

A large observational study has found that adding weightlifting to aerobic exercise is good for older adults, lowering their risk from most deaths (but ...Read more

TB Effects TBD

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

This is one of those silver lining sorts of things: The COVID pandemic appears to have at least temporarily reduced the incidence of tuberculosis, a highly infectious disease spread by airborne droplets that can cause serious illness, primarily in the lungs.

Reported TB cases have been declining in recent years, from more than 16,000 in 2000 ...Read more

Noncommunicable Diseases Communicated

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

We tend to pay more attention to contagious diseases like COVID, tuberculosis and AIDS, which infect tens of millions of people annually and kill millions. But noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) take far more lives each year.

For example, cardiovascular diseases including heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases ...Read more

Fatherhood Changes Men's Brains

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Various studies have shown that the brains of women who become biological mothers change: Structures within the organ regulating "theory of mind" (how we think about what others are thinking) and primitive functions like emotion and motivation actually alter in size and shape. A lot of this can be attributed to the effects of pregnancy-related...Read more

Amen to Good Heart Health

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A new study suggests that participating in religious activities, from church services to private prayer, and holding deep spiritual beliefs is linked to better cardiovascular health among Black Americans, who as a group tend to have poorer heart health than non-Hispanic white people, including higher rates of death and disease.

The study, ...Read more

Lowered Expectations

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Compared to people in other middle- and high-income countries, Americans die young -- and sometimes needlessly due to inadequate access to health care. A report from the Commonwealth Fund surveyed the 50 states and concluded:

The best health care was in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York ...Read more

D Gets an F

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

In recent years, vitamin D has been touted as a potential therapeutic for everything from heart disease and cancer to diabetes and depression. The jury is still out on many of these claims, even if supplement makers remain, uh, overenthusiastic.

But rule out at least one assertion: In a new, large, published study, researchers found vitamin D...Read more

Thinking About Vitamins

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Lots of dietary supplements have been touted as helping prevent cognitive decline in older adults, though almost none have any compelling empirical evidence to back up their claims (which tend to be carefully couched to avoid regulatory scrutiny).

A new study provides a bit more scientific rigor, albeit mixed results. Researchers conducted a ...Read more

Fat of the Land

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Obesity is an expanding national health crisis. Nineteen states and two territories have at least 35% of residents with adult obesity, more than doubling the number of states since 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Obesity is most prevalent in the Midwest states, top to bottom, with the highest occurrence (45%...Read more



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