Health & Spirit

Don't Lose Sleep Over This

Health / Scott LaFee /

It's long been known that sleep deprivation adversely affects cognitive function; we just don't seem to think as well or as effectively when we don't get enough rest. But new research out of Michigan State University suggests the ill effects of too little sleep impact mental functioning in other ways.

The researchers looked at how sleep ...Read more

Cancer Cuts

Health / Scott LaFee /

As cancer rates increase, the number of doctors trained to treat cancer patients is declining. A new report by Doximity -- an online networking service for doctors -- says the primary driver is more oncologists are retiring than new ones are being produced.

The shortage will not hit evenly, with cities like Miami, North Port, Florida, and New...Read more

Don't Think Too Hard About This

Health / Scott LaFee /

We've all heard the admonitions about how keeping mentally active boosts overall health and longevity. A new study suggests that busy brains might mean shorter lifespans, and excessive brain activity could be a risk factor for dementia.

Researchers documented the phenomenon across multiple species -- from humans to mice to roundworms (!) -- ...Read more

Unhealthy Relationships

Health / Scott LaFee /

Which is worse for your health: a troubled relationship with a significant other or prolonged problems with parents, siblings and extended family members?

It's long been known that strained intimate relationships can have a significant adverse effect on physical health, but new research suggests the negative impacts of family strife are more ...Read more

Pregnant Pause

Health / Scott LaFee /

The Centers for Disease Control reports that a large number of pregnant women are not getting two critically important vaccines: the Tdap vaccine (to prevent pertussis, also known as whooping cough) and the annual flu shot.

Survey data found that only 55% of pregnant women reported getting a Tdap vaccination and 54% receiving a flu shot last ...Read more

Smoking Out Users

Health / Scott LaFee /

A large national survey, taken from 2016 to 2017 and published in JAMA, reports that people with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, arthritis, cancer or depression are more likely to say they use marijuana than people without such illnesses.

The numbers skew young, with one-quarter of people ages 18 to 34 reporting current ...Read more

Painful Muscle Memory

Health / Scott LaFee /

Aricept, a drug commonly prescribed to manage cognitive decline in Alzheimer's patients, may be associated with a higher risk of hospitalization. A Canadian study looked at more than 220,000 patients prescribed drugs for managing dementia (about 152,000 took Aricept) and found that while the overall hospitalization rate was low, more people who ...Read more


Health / Scott LaFee /

The Peace Corps is famously all about young men and woman venturing to distant locales, bringing with them the promise of social, economic and technical assistance, leavened with a bit of good old-fashioned American can-do spirit.

There's now a move afoot to create a similar program for seniors closer to home. The Department of Health and ...Read more

Tele Friend

Health / Scott LaFee /

Telemedicine is consulting with a medical professional via computer or smartphone. With screens everywhere, it's quite doable. But is it used often? Among people over the age of 50, not so much, according to a University of Michigan poll.

Surveyors found that older patients aren't quite ready to virtually embrace their doctors and health care...Read more

Social Media and Girls

Health / Scott LaFee /

A study of nearly 10,000 teens in the United Kingdom found that more than 25% of girls who used social media frequently throughout the day reported greater anxiety and lower rates of happiness than girls who were on social media sites on only a weekly basis, or even less frequently.

The researchers concluded that the effect could be linked to...Read more

Planting the Idea

Health / Scott LaFee /

You know this, but it bears repeating: A diet rich in plant-based foods may be better for heart health than an animal-based one or one with insufficient daily fruit and vegetable servings.

A study of more than 12,000 adults, surveyed periodically between 1987 and 2017 about their food habits and heart health, found that those who consumed ...Read more

No Fan of Heat

Health / Scott LaFee /

When temperatures rise, it seems like a no-brainer to reach over and flick on an electric fan. But it might not be such a hot idea.

In a small study, researchers asked men to sit for two hours in either very hot and dry heat or very hot and humid conditions -- some with fans and some without. The men who used fans in hot and dry conditions ...Read more

Migraines and Dementia

Health / Scott LaFee /

Migraines and dementia have much in common. Headaches, including migraines, are the most common neurological disorder across all ages. Dementia is the most common neurological disease in older adults.

A new Canadian study of 679 adults (62% women) ages 65 and older reports that migraines also appear to be a significant risk factor for ...Read more


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