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Health & Spirit

High, Kids

Health / Scott LaFee /

Elevated blood pressure levels aren't just for adults anymore. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports the ailment is increasing in children. It's estimated that 3.5 percent of kids in the U.S. have hypertension, or chronic high blood pressure. The rise is worrying enough that a new set of screening and treatment guidelines are being ...Read more

Bad News, Guys

Health / Scott LaFee /

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which are used in everything from pesticides and sunblock to plastic water bottles and non-stick pans, mimic sex hormones. That's not a good thing. One of the suggested harms is reduced male fertility.

A new study documents just how bad the problem has gotten. An international team of scientists sifted through ...Read more

Rich in Hype

Health / Scott LaFee /

Take a pint of whole blood and extract all of its red blood cells and what's left is platelet rich plasma, a concentrate of platelets (cell fragments that promote clotting) and a variety of growth factors that proponents say stimulates healing when re-injected into soft tissue injuries.

The treatment is quite popular, especially with ...Read more

Complete the Course?

Health / Scott LaFee /

When doctors prescribe an antibiotic treatment, they invariably remind patients to complete the full course, i.e. don't stop taking your pills at day 7 of a 10-day treatment just because you're feeling better. The admonition is based on the idea that stopping treatment prematurely might mean not all of the targeted pathogen is gone, leaving it...Read more

Sometimes Reality Doesn't Bite -- It's Worse

Health / Scott LaFee /

Well, we've survived Shark Week -- again. The annual cable TV extravaganza on all things Selachimorpha tends (with intent) to whip up our curiosity and fear about these toothy denizens of the sea.

In fact, fatal shark attacks in U.S. waters occur maybe once every other year. In contrast, millions of sharks lose their lives each year to human ...Read more

Beats Going To Work

Health / Scott LaFee /

If your regular workday involves long hours, you may be at greater risk of an irregular heartbeat. Researchers reviewed health data from more than 85,000 individuals participating in longitudinal studies. They divided them into groups based on hours they worked. None of the patients had been diagnosed with an irregular heart rhythm -- atrial ...Read more

Brain Games

Health / Scott LaFee /

Commercials and ads touting brain games as a way to boost cognitive function are everywhere; supporting data is not.

In a recent study, researchers tested two groups of 64 young adults. One group played Lumosity games for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, for 10 weeks; the other group played online video games on the same schedule. ...Read more

Smells Good, No Smell Bad

Health / Scott LaFee /

It makes sense that foods that smell great are associated with gaining weight. Our sense of smell is a key to our eating enjoyment, and a dish that is enticingly aromatic will tend to induce us to overly consume.

But a series of experiments at UC Berkeley puts a twist on these assumptions. Researchers found that mice modified to possess super...Read more

Talk About the Walk

Health / Scott LaFee /

Even walking just a bit slower can be a sign of emerging dementia, say University of Pittsburgh researchers. "

The scientists assessed 175 older adults, ages 70 to 79, over the course of 14 years. In the beginning, all were in good mental health with normal brain scans. As part of the testing, participants were asked at multiple times to walk...Read more

Against Medical Advice

Health / Scott LaFee /

No one wants to stay in a hospital any longer than necessary and sometimes it seems like, well, getting released takes longer than the time it took to get sick in the first place. But leaving a hospital against medical advice is linked to a higher risk of mortality and greater odds that you'll be readmitted later on.

Researchers looked at ...Read more

The Long Goodbye

Health / Scott LaFee /

Some chronic health conditions are linked to an increased risk of suicide, according to new published research. Behavioral health scientists looked at medical data for more than 2,600 persons who died by suicide, comparing those findings to 267,000 control individuals. They found more than a dozen conditions associated with a higher risk of ...Read more

Dollars and Pounds

Health / Scott LaFee /

If you want people to lose weight, pad their pocketbooks.

In a randomized, 8-month-long study in Singapore, participants paid $161 to join an intensive weight loss program that included learning healthy lifestyle skills, with a goal of losing at least 5 percent of their body weight. Some of the participants paid an additional $119 to ...Read more

Six-Pack, Schmix-Pack

Health / Scott LaFee /

That band of fat around your abdomen gets called many things, i.e. beer belly, muffin top and worse. Medically speaking, it's called the omentum, a sheet of fat that covers the intestines, stomach and liver.

Although the omentum is associated with obesity, not a good thing, it also helps keep you healthy. Aside from serving as a protective ...Read more

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