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Segregated Hospitals

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

The nonprofit Lown Institute has ranked 3,200 hospital systems across the country based on racial inclusivity, i.e., what their patient mix was in terms of race and socioeconomic status. It found stark differences between the most and least inclusive hospitals, which often were just miles apart.

For example, the most racially inclusive hospital...Read more

Older, but Hardly Alone

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

In 2019, there were roughly 54 million Americans aged 65 and older. By 2050, there will be nearly 86 million, a population increase of nearly 60%. The future, according to the latest Senior Report by United Health Foundation, looks mixed.

On the plus side, geriatric services and providers are increasing, as are vaccination and exercise rates....Read more

Pandemic Linked to Fewer Deaths

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Last year's lockdowns, which were enacted to combat the spread of COVID-19, may have saved up to 32,000 lives due to lowered emissions from vehicles and coal-powered electricity plants.

Researchers looked at 252 regions around the world and found a reduction in airborne pollutants. The benefit was most pronounced in China, where nitrogen ...Read more

Adolescent Substance Use and the Pandemic

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Adolescent marijuana use and binge drinking did not significantly change during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite record decreases in the substances' perceived availability, according to a federal survey of high school seniors in the United States.

Analyses of responses from 3,770 high school seniors surveyed by the National Institute on Drug ...Read more

Sugar Bowel

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A study of more than 41,000 U.S. nurses found that daily consumption of two or more sugar-sweetened beverages was linked to double the risk of developing bowel cancer before the age of 50.

High amounts of sugar is associated with risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and obesity, both risk factors for bowel cancer. The longitudinal study asked ...Read more

Too Much Screening?

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Medical societies recommend screening for cervical cancer and human papillomavirus, which causes cervical cancer, every three to five years. Many women, though, appear to be screening far more often, which comes with the consequence of increased psychological distress and increased health care costs.

A study of nearly 2.3 million women ages ...Read more

From Hear to There

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A small study suggests that older adults with hearing loss may also be less physically active. Researchers looked at nearly 300 adults, ages 60 to 69, and found that those with hearing loss reported nearly 35 minutes of more sedentary activity each day than those without hearing loss.

They also reported that the hearing-impaired had 30 fewer ...Read more

Skin on Fire

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

If you've noticed an increased recurrence of skin conditions such as eczema and itchiness, one reason might be poor air quality, especially in places such as California, where wildfires have been frequent and massive in recent years.

Researchers studied the Camp Fire of 2018, noting that there was a 50% increase in pediatric visits to ...Read more

Heavy Breathing

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Typically, snoring in adults rouses concerns of sleep issues such as apnea, a condition in which breathing temporarily pauses multiple times over the course of a night. But new research suggests that when it happens in kids, it can signal trouble, too.

A study of 10,000 preteens found that those who snored three or more times a week were also...Read more

Shock Attack

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

With the pandemic hopefully on the wane and warmer days ahead, we dream of beaches and frolicking in the waves. In our nightmares, we dream of sharks. Shark attacks are quite rare (less than 1 per million people per year), but these numbers are increasing.

Just over half of shark attacks are in the United States, rising by about one bite per ...Read more

COVID Redux

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Folks have heard of COVID "long-haulers," persons whose COVID-19 symptoms persist for weeks and months. But COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized may have other issues after discharge. For example, they are at higher risk for organ damage, particularly to the lungs, heart, kidneys and liver.

Among more than 47,000 COVID-19 patients surveyed,...Read more

Antibiotics: Doing the Same With Less

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

New recommendations from the American College of Physicians suggest patients are taking antibiotics for too long.

Often, antibiotic are prescribed for daily use over a week or longer. The new recommendations suggest five days is best practice for a variety of common infections, such as uncomplicated bronchitis, community-acquired pneumonia, ...Read more

Sleep, COVID-19 and Health Care Workers

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Being a frontline health care worker during the COVID-19 pandemic can be a continuing source of sleeplessness, which may increase the risk of contracting the disease. In a summer 2020 survey of 2,884 workers exposed to COVID-19 patients daily, 568 developed COVID-19. For each hour longer that these health care workers slept, their odds of ...Read more

 

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