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Is That OK? No, It's Not

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Winter season or not, the color of nasal mucus can sometimes tell you a lot about your current state of health. It might not be the polite thing to do in company, but next time you blow into a tissue, take a peek. If it's:

Clear: This is normal. Untainted mucus is mostly water with proteins, antibodies and dissolved salts. It's pretty ...Read more

TV Doctors

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

The pandemic has introduced TV viewers to a host of new "experts," but relatively few are actually medical doctors. A published survey of prime-time programming from Fox News, CNN and MSNBC found that only about 1 in 5 of the experts brought on to talk about the coronavirus was a doctor.

The survey covered mid-May to mid-June 2020 and ...Read more

Don't Weight for Improvement

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

In 25 states, one attempt to battle rising obesity rates among youth has been for schools to send home reports to parents on their children's body mass index, with the idea that the reports might inform and inspire lifestyle changes.

But a study of 29,000 elementary and middle school students in California found that the reports led to little...Read more

Higher the Age, Lower the Cholesterol

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A pair of new studies suggest that patients older than 75 may benefit from cholesterol-lowering medications. Older persons have typically not been targeted for such medications, because the drugs can take a few years to produce beneficial results, and evidence of that benefit has been conclusive.

But a recent Danish observational study of 13,...Read more

Next, a Mumps in the Road

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Measles is making a recovery, which is a bad thing. The number of measles cases in the world grew to nearly 870,000 in 2019, with 207,500 deaths. Those are the highest numbers in 23 years, up 50% from 2016.

Experts at the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the cause is not enough children being ...Read more

Take It With a Pinch of Salt

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A growing number of commercial and homemade remedies suggest that you can control mosquitoes (OK, not a problem right now, but they'll be back) by deploying pools of attractive but super-salty solutions. The idea is that the insects slurp up so much of the tasty saline water that they become overloaded and die. Think of it as the bug version ...Read more

Craving Human Company

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

New research published in Nature Neuroscience reports that our hunger for social contact, made worse by the pandemic, starts in the same part of the brain as our desire for food.

Researchers isolated people in windowless rooms for 10 hours. Later, the people fasted for the same amount of time. After each session, study participants' brains ...Read more

Polyp Goes the Squeezle

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

New research suggests 1 in 8 people who undergo an elective colonoscopy (hey, is it ever really elective?) might get an unpleasant surprise even if their doctor finds nothing untoward, colonically speaking.

A study of colonoscopy insurance claims between 2012-2017 found that 12% of more than 1.1 million procedures included out-of-network ...Read more

The Fungus Among Us

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Viruses and bacteria aren't the only microbial pathogens that plague us. Fungal diseases abound, too, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people are unaware of them, even though they result in more than $7 billion in health costs annually.

Experts surveyed 3,600 people across the country and found that a ...Read more

Call It 'Prepression'

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

What with the pandemic and everything else, 2020 has not been a good year for most people. But 2019 wasn't all that great either. Three new reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest our communal mental health was suffering well before COVID-19.

Asked about anxiety symptoms in the two weeks preceding a survey, nearly ...Read more

It Pays to Prepare

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

The world wasn't ready for the COVID-19 pandemic. A study by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board asked what it would take to be ready for the next global health threat. The answer: a lot of money, effort and time.

The worldwide response cost to the current pandemic has already exceeded $11 trillion, with another $10 trillion in projected...Read more

Caregiving's Health Toll

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A new Blue Cross Blue Shield report on the state of caregiving in the United States paints an unsettling picture: Caregivers tend to have lower overall health scores than the general population, especially among some racial groups and those of younger age.

The company found that nearly three-quarters of the identified caregivers (almost 7 ...Read more

 

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