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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

Changing in Mid-bloodstream

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Differences in blood types can mean the difference in whether a person qualifies for an organ transplant. If the blood type of the donor organ doesn't match the recipient's, a mismatched transplant likely results in death.

But a new approach uses enzymes to treat donor organs to make them compatible with recipients of any blood type. Right ...Read more

Speed of Thought

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Our minds inevitably slow with age, but there's new evidence that it doesn't necessarily happen as early as once thought -- or feared. In a published study involving 1 million people who took an online cognitive test, older adults took longer to complete the test than younger participants, but their responses were more accurate.

As ...Read more

Sex Education Equals Declining Teen Pregnancy

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Comprehensive sex education that does not rely solely on abstinence works, at least in terms of reducing teen pregnancies, according to a newly published study that looked at birth rates in 55 U.S. counties before and after a federally funded teen pregnancy reduction program.

Researchers found that in the first year of the program, local teen...Read more

Country Living

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

There are a lot of pluses to living in the country, such as open space and fresh air.

Good health, however, may not be one of them. A new CDC report compared working-age Americans who lived in rural or small urban counties with their counterparts living in large urban counties. All were asked to rate their health.

Rural folks rated theirs ...Read more

 

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