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Pathological Life Outside Life

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Inside the human body, bacteria, viruses and other microbial pathogens can live for days, weeks, maybe months -- or less. Their existence is usually measured by how quickly our immune system can get rid of them.

Outside the body, the life expectancy of a microbe is equally varied.

Rhinoviruses that cause the common cold can survive on indoor...Read more

Worked to Death

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

The suicide rate among working-age Americans (ages 16-64) is increasing; in 2017, nearly 38,000 persons died by suicide.

The demographics, however, are quite diverse. The Centers for Disease Control recently issued a new report that found among men, workers in the fishing and hunting trades had the highest suicide rates, followed by musicians...Read more

Snakes on a Petri Dish

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Organoids are all the rage in biological science these days. They are essentially mini versions of targeted organs, such as the brain, liver and intestinal tract. They aren't exactly the same thing, of course, but at the cellular level, they perform organ functions that allow scientists to study them without the confusing bother of the rest of...Read more

Caring About the Caregivers

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Most family members and unpaid caregivers looking after older adults say they feel listened to when talking with the adults' health care providers. But a new survey highlights two areas where they say they could use more help.

1. Access to clinicians. Fewer than half of caregivers surveyed said they actually interact with doctors.

2. Almost ...Read more

Germinal Idea

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

In the United Kingdom, ethicists are debating whether to allow men to volunteer to posthumously donate their sperm to strangers. That is, their sperm would be retrieved postmortem and used by persons unknown to them.

Advocates say it will help ease a shortage of sperm donors and meet a critical need in the same way as organ donation. They say...Read more

WHO Cares

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

The World Health Organization has issued a list of urgent global health challenges that must be addressed in this decade. They are, in no particular order:

-- "Elevating health in the climate debate

-- "Delivering health in conflict and crisis

-- "Making healthcare fairer

-- "Expanding access to medicines

-- "Stopping infectious diseases ...Read more

Cold Comfort

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

New data culled from 677,000 temperatures taken and recorded from 1860 to the early 2000s suggests humans are getting colder. That is, our collective "healthy" temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit appears to be dropping.

The human body works hard to maintain a relatively stable internal temperature best suited to keeping its organs and ...Read more

Fat Got Your Tongue?

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine reports that for many Americans struggling to get sufficient rest due to obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, the culprit may be chubby tongues.

Overweight and obese people comprise up to 70% of cases of OSA, during which sleep is disrupted by brief but recurrent moments ...Read more

Why Chemo Kills Bone

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

One of the major adverse effects of cancer treatment can be bone loss, which can lead to osteoporosis and fractures. It's especially problematic among postmenopausal women being treated for breast cancer.

In a new study, cancer researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, studied mice with multiple types of ...Read more

Revenge Is Kids' Stuff

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Cognitive scientists at the University of California, Irvine report that children ages 4 to 8 must be taught the social norms of giving, gratitude and reciprocity. It doesn't come naturally.

Revenge is different.

"In our series of experiments, we thought we'd see that children would display positive direct reciprocity -- the tendency to pay ...Read more

Investing in Health Research

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A new report by Research!America (the exclamation point in the middle is the giveaway that this is an advocacy group) says total spending on health and medical research in the U.S. in 2018 exceeded $194 billion.

It's part of a rising trend. Since 2013, medical and health R&D has increased by $51 billion, with industry responsible for two-...Read more

Managing Meds

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

According to the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, Americans ages 65 to 69 take an average of 15 prescriptions per year; those ages 80 to 84 have 18 prescriptions. That's in addition to the uncounted over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, herbal supplements and more that people may be taking, alone or in combination.

Health experts are ...Read more

After Unplanned Hospital Visit, Another Unpleasant Surprise

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A Canadian study has found that among older adults, an unexpected hospital admission was associated with an increased risk of death within five years of the visit.

The study looked at data on 922,000 Canadians ages 66 and older between 2007 and 2017. Researchers found that 51% of those who died during the study had experienced an unplanned ...Read more

 

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