Health Advice



Changing E-Cig Tastes

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

In November 2018, under pressure from the Food and Drug Administration, e-cigarette maker Juul announced it was pulling its fruit flavors and some of its sweet flavors (think cotton candy) from the market -- an effort to reduce the attraction to younger consumers.

Tobacco, mint and menthol flavors remained for sale.

It appears consumers have...Read more

Heat Goes for the Heart

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

As global temperatures rise due to climate change, so, too, will cardiovascular-related deaths, according to a new, albeit narrowly focused, study.

Researchers looked at more than 15,000 cardiovascular deaths in Kuwait between 2010 and 2016. (Kuwait lays claim to the hottest day in the last 76 years: 129 degrees Fahrenheit on July 21, 2016, ...Read more

Stepping It up

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

We all know walking is wonderful exercise, especially as we age and other forms of strenuous physical activity become more difficult. A plethora of devices let us count our steps, with 10,000 steps a day presumed to be the universal goal.

A recent study looked at 4,800 people age 40 and older to see if there was a correlation between steps ...Read more

Third's the Harm

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Firsthand smoke includes the fumes tobacco users inhale. Secondhand smoke is exhaled smoke, plus substances emanating from burning tobacco. Thirdhand smoke is secondhand smoke that lingers invisibly after the smoker is gone. It also can accumulate on the surface of objects; it ages over time; and it becomes progressively more toxic.

A new ...Read more

Alexa on Drugs

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

The drug and medical device database company First Databank has partnered with Amazon Alexa to allow consumers to ask the device more specific information about a drug and its side effects.

Consumers can now ask an Alexa device common drug-related questions such as "What is Tylenol?" or "What is the difference between Advil and Tylenol?" The ...Read more

Lung Screenings up in Smoke

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Most people who should be getting annual lung cancer screenings, specifically current and former smokers, aren't, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health officials recommend annual screenings for current smokers or those who quit in the past 15 years and who have a history of smoking at least 30 packs of cigarettes a ...Read more

Palliative Care Helps Parkinson's Patients

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A small study has found that adding palliative care -- treatment focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness -- to standard care can help raise patients' quality of life.

In a 210-person trial, half of patients with Parkinson's disease, a progressive neuromuscular disorder, received their standard medical ...Read more

The Pulmonary Perils of Vaping

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Vaping poses multiple health risks, not least among them addiction to nicotine.

But e-cigarettes also produce a host of dangerous chemicals including formaldehyde, benzene (found in car exhaust), heavy metals and acrolein, an herbicide.

These compounds are toxic to cells, and researchers are increasingly reporting heightened risk factors for...Read more

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


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