Health & Spirit


Health / Scott LaFee /

In 2016, more than a quarter-million people worldwide died from firearm-related injuries, according to a new study published in the JAMA Network. The good news is that the global death rate from guns has decreased a bit less than 1 percent per year since 1990. The bad news is that half of all 2016 firearm deaths occurred in just six countries ...Read more

Taking Aspirin with a Grain of Salt

Health / Scott LaFee /

A new large study suggests that a daily dose of aspirin does not lower risk of having a heart attack or stroke for the first time. A randomized trial of more than 12,500 people considered to be at moderate risk for cardiovascular disease found that the rate of heart problems didn't differ between those who took a preventive aspirin pill daily ...Read more

Marijuana and the Soon-To-Be Mom

Health / Scott LaFee /

New research shows that pregnant women suffering severe nausea and vomiting turn to marijuana at more than twice the rate of pregnant women with less severe symptoms: 11 percent to 5 percent. The idea is that marijuana eases their queasiness.

Other research indicates more pregnant women are using marijuana in general. National guidelines ...Read more

Night Gout

Health / Scott LaFee /

Gout is a common, but complex, form of arthritis. It occurs when urate crystals (derived from uric acid) accumulate in joints, causing inflammation and intense pain, often in the big toe. It's not uncommon for an attack of gout to happen suddenly, waking you up in the middle of the night.

A new study suggests that obstructive sleep apnea -- ...Read more

I Heart Female Docs

Health / Scott LaFee /

Heart disease is an equal opportunity killer. It's the No. 1 cause of death for both men and women. But a new study of more than half a million cases of heart attack victims rushed to Florida emergency rooms between 1991 and 2010 suggests a person's sex plays a surprising role in whether they are likely to survive a heart attack.

Researchers ...Read more

Old but Gold Advice for Keeping Your Cool

Health / Scott LaFee /

For much of the country, it has been a brutal summer, heatwise, with daily max records routinely broken. But as miserable as the weather can be for most of us, excessive heat is particularly problematic -- even deadly -- for older people, who may have age-related health risk factors, such as:

--Changes to skin that result in poor blood ...Read more

Spurred of Mouth

Health / Scott LaFee /

Ever notice how wounds in the mouth heal faster than similar injuries on skin? Some scientists recruited 30 healthy volunteers and gave them tiny matching wounds inside their mouths and on their skin. Then, over the next week, they biopsied the tissues daily. RNA sequencing revealed that the mouth samples had unique patterns of genetic ...Read more

Noses Off

Health / Scott LaFee /

Phantom odor perception is exactly what it sounds like: the detection of smells that, in fact, have no source. A new study, the first in the United States to use nationally representative data, reports that 1 in 15 Americans (6.5 percent) over the age of 40 experience phantom odors.

In other words, they smell things that just aren't there.

"...Read more

Shrew Knew?

Health / Scott LaFee /

Chinese tree shrews reportedly eat chili peppers like candy. At least a few scientists wanted to know why and came up with an answer: Chili peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that triggers activation of the TRPV1 ion channel on the surface of the tongue's pain-sensitive cells. The more capsaicin in a pepper, the hotter and more painful it ...Read more

There's Not a Vitamin for That

Health / Scott LaFee /

A meta-analysis of 18 studies that investigated the link between vitamin and mineral supplements and cardiovascular disease outcomes concludes that the former doesn't seem to do much to curb the risk of the latter.

In other words, taking multivitamins and minerals wasn't associated with a significantly lower risk of stroke or death due to ...Read more

Goldwater is Old Water

Health / Scott LaFee /

Back in 1973, the American Psychological Association adopted a rule that prohibited its members from sharing their views of a public figure's apparent mental health status or psychological traits. It was named the Goldwater rule after a magazine published a 1964 article in which interviewed psychiatrists opined on whether presidential ...Read more

Overdose, Then Worse

Health / Scott LaFee /

People who survive an opioid overdose are at increased risk of death in the following year, though not always due to drug use. A new study in JAMA Psychiatry looked at 75,000 adults treated for an opioid overdose between 2001 and 2007; more than 5,000 of whom died within 12 months of the event.

Of those deaths, 25 percent were related to drug...Read more

Coffee? Tea? Cancer?

Health / Scott LaFee /

Flight attendants may have a higher risk of some cancers because they literally spend a good chunk of their lives higher than the rest of us.

A Harvard study found that men and women who work on flying planes experience increased rates of many types of cancer, compared to the general population, from breast, cervix and skin to colon, stomach ...Read more


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