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Head to Head

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Body of Knowledge

The Guinness World Record for most toilet seats broken by someone's head in one minute is 46, set in 2007 by Kevin Shelley of Germany. Shelley did it as a TV stunt. Do not try this at home. It's bad for the head -- yours and the one at home.

Get Me That, Stat!

The World Health Organization estimates the global death toll ...Read more

Aspirin and Heart Disease

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Many adults take a low-dose aspirin daily, believing that it can help prevent a heart attack or stroke. But a new study finds that for people who do not have cardiovascular disease, the practice provides little to no benefit and may increase the risk of dangerous bleeding.

For adults ages 60 and up with no cardiovascular disease or high risk ...Read more

Hypertension During Pregnancy

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, during pregnancy is a growing problem, one that affects twice as many Black as white patients. Results from a new clinical trial of more than 2,400 women (almost half of them Black) found that patients who received medication for "mild" hypertension (above 140/90) experienced fewer pregnancy problems. They...Read more

What Is Killing Our Children?

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Historically, motor vehicle accidents have been the leading cause of death and injury among children and adolescents. That changed in 2017, when gun-related deaths took the top spot.

Better motor vehicle manufacturing and traffic safety laws are responsible for that decline; lax gun safety laws (or no laws at all) are attributed to the rise ...Read more

I Heart Water

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Too much salt intake is bad for the heart, resulting in enlargement and thickening of the organ and a higher risk of failure. Researchers looked at the balance of salt and water in blood and found that people who stayed well-hydrated had lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

What does it mean to be "well-hydrated"? Researchers translated that...Read more

Gulp: Alcohol May Not Be Good for Your Heart

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

The so-called French paradox suggests that light consumption of alcohol (typically in the form of wine) may actually promote cardiovascular health -- or at least reduce the risk of heart disease.

But a new study posits that genetic predisposition may be more strongly associated: People inclined to drink more are also more likely to develop ...Read more

Down in Smoke

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Overall tobacco use among U.S. adults is in decline, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though almost 1 in 5 people still use cigarettes, cigars, pipes or smokeless tobacco, that's a far cry from 1965, when the rate of use was 42%.

Electronic cigarette use, however, is rising, especially among youth. In 2018, more than 3....Read more

Keeping Abreast of Heart Disease Risk

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Routine mammograms often reveal calcifications in the breast -- bright white lines snaking through the tissue. While not a sign of cancer, new research suggests they may provide clues to risk of cardiovascular disease.

The white lines are indicators of calcium buildup in the breast's arterial wall, which is different from coronary artery ...Read more

Trained Fat

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Fat, or adipose, tissue isn't just inert blubber threatening our health and self-esteem; it's a functional part of our bodies, interacting with other organs to boost muscle and brain metabolism.

Like everything else, it loses functionality with age, but new research shows that rigorous, regular exercise can help keep your fat fully functional...Read more

At the Heart of the Problem: Money

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Among older people who have been hospitalized for a heart attack, severe financial strain -- having too little money each month to make ends meet -- is associated with a 60% higher risk of dying within six months after hospital discharge, according to a Yale University study.

"We found that severe financial strain was associated with ...Read more

The Season Flu By

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

We're wrapping up a second full flu season in the middle of a pandemic, and like 2020-2021, the latest season has proven to be thankfully light, with just 5.2 hospitalizations for the flu per 100,000 people -- the lowest rate in years.

It's a good thing because new findings suggest the vaccine developed for this season was not a particularly ...Read more

COVID's Longer-Lasting Consequences

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

There's "long COVID," defined as cases in which people experience new, returning or ongoing health problems more than four weeks after first being infected with SARS-CoV-2, and there's the longer, lingering, broader effects on just about everybody else.

In a new study published in Lancet, researchers describe the pandemic's uneven toll. The ...Read more

Wanted: Disease Detectives

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

The COVID-19 pandemic isn't necessarily the cause, but it has revealed a current shortage in epidemiologists -- scientists trained to search for the cause of disease, identify people who are at risk and determine how to control or stop the spread.

A new report surveying health departments in 30 U.S. cities found 177 open positions for ...Read more

 

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