Health & Spirit

Vaccine Rates Get Shot in the Arm

Health / Scott LaFee /

Since 2015, when California legislators banned nonmedical vaccine exemptions, more and more kindergartners are getting all of their required vaccinations before beginning school. In 2017-2018, for example, 95 percent of students had all of their required shots.

But where there's action, there's reaction. Researchers report that the rate of ...Read more


Health / Scott LaFee /

The Food and Drug Administration is charged with defining what is and is not a specific food. Right now, for example, it's working through proposed guidelines for "nut milks," such as soy and cashew, which technically don't contain any milk at all.

But sometimes the FDA goes the other way. Currently, it's considering loosening its definition ...Read more

The Costs of Caregiving

Health / Scott LaFee /

A new national poll reveals what many already know: caregiving costs, in time, money and health. According to the poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 1 in 3 caregivers in the U.S. forgo personal medical needs to care for family and friends.

Four out of 5 caregivers spend their own money on caregiving-...Read more

Aid for Hearing Aids

Health / Scott LaFee /

The Food and Drug Administration is drafting first-ever regulations that would permit over-the-counter hearing aids to be purchased more easily. (Some states require people buy hearing aids through licensed providers.)

In the meantime, the FDA has approved marketing for the first-ever hearing aid that can be fitted, programmed and controlled by...Read more

Get in Line

Health / Scott LaFee /

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that on any given day, more than one-third of U.S. adults eat fast food. The figure is based on data collected between 2013 and 2016, which found that 45 percent of adults ages 20 to 39 ate fast food on a given day, compared to 24 percent of adults ages 60 and older.

Surprisingly, the ...Read more

Fat of the Land

Health / Scott LaFee /

In 2012, not a single state had an adult obesity rate above 35 percent. According to 2017 data released by the CDC, now seven states do: Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia.

It's not great news elsewhere. In every state, at least 1 in 5 adults are obese. Only Colorado; Washington, D.C.; and Hawaii had ...Read more

Issues at Heart

Health / Scott LaFee /

Heart disease and stroke are the top killers in the United States, causing more than 2.2 million hospitalizations and 415,000 deaths in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest available data.

Those cases exact a huge financial toll: $37.2 billion for just that year.

The CDC says part of the price is due to ...Read more

Why Are You Sitting While Reading This?

Health / Scott LaFee /

A new analysis of self-reported activity levels among adults in 168 countries indicates that more than one-quarter of the world's adult population doesn't get enough exercise.

Guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, per week to stay healthy. Roughly one-third of women and one-quarter of men ...Read more


Health / Scott LaFee /

In 2016, more than a quarter-million people worldwide died from firearm-related injuries, according to a new study published in the JAMA Network. The good news is that the global death rate from guns has decreased a bit less than 1 percent per year since 1990. The bad news is that half of all 2016 firearm deaths occurred in just six countries ...Read more

Taking Aspirin with a Grain of Salt

Health / Scott LaFee /

A new large study suggests that a daily dose of aspirin does not lower risk of having a heart attack or stroke for the first time. A randomized trial of more than 12,500 people considered to be at moderate risk for cardiovascular disease found that the rate of heart problems didn't differ between those who took a preventive aspirin pill daily ...Read more

Marijuana and the Soon-To-Be Mom

Health / Scott LaFee /

New research shows that pregnant women suffering severe nausea and vomiting turn to marijuana at more than twice the rate of pregnant women with less severe symptoms: 11 percent to 5 percent. The idea is that marijuana eases their queasiness.

Other research indicates more pregnant women are using marijuana in general. National guidelines ...Read more

Night Gout

Health / Scott LaFee /

Gout is a common, but complex, form of arthritis. It occurs when urate crystals (derived from uric acid) accumulate in joints, causing inflammation and intense pain, often in the big toe. It's not uncommon for an attack of gout to happen suddenly, waking you up in the middle of the night.

A new study suggests that obstructive sleep apnea -- ...Read more

I Heart Female Docs

Health / Scott LaFee /

Heart disease is an equal opportunity killer. It's the No. 1 cause of death for both men and women. But a new study of more than half a million cases of heart attack victims rushed to Florida emergency rooms between 1991 and 2010 suggests a person's sex plays a surprising role in whether they are likely to survive a heart attack.

Researchers ...Read more

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