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Lowered Expectations

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Compared to people in other middle- and high-income countries, Americans die young -- and sometimes needlessly due to inadequate access to health care. A report from the Commonwealth Fund surveyed the 50 states and concluded:

The best health care was in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York ...Read more

D Gets an F

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

In recent years, vitamin D has been touted as a potential therapeutic for everything from heart disease and cancer to diabetes and depression. The jury is still out on many of these claims, even if supplement makers remain, uh, overenthusiastic.

But rule out at least one assertion: In a new, large, published study, researchers found vitamin D...Read more

Thinking About Vitamins

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Lots of dietary supplements have been touted as helping prevent cognitive decline in older adults, though almost none have any compelling empirical evidence to back up their claims (which tend to be carefully couched to avoid regulatory scrutiny).

A new study provides a bit more scientific rigor, albeit mixed results. Researchers conducted a ...Read more

Fat of the Land

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Obesity is an expanding national health crisis. Nineteen states and two territories have at least 35% of residents with adult obesity, more than doubling the number of states since 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Obesity is most prevalent in the Midwest states, top to bottom, with the highest occurrence (45%...Read more

We All Speak Baby Talk

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

After analyzing 1,600 samples of speech and song from 21 societies on six continents, researchers have concluded that baby talk and lullabies are universally recognizable.

Apparently, we all adjust our voices in similar ways when communicating with babies, using purer timbres, more subdued songs and higher-pitched words. When researchers ...Read more

Violent Crime and Heart Disease

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

It's more correlation than causation, but a new study found that deaths from heart disease dropped in association with a decline in gun violence. The period studied was 2000-2014 in Chicago. Over that period, violent crime dropped 16% overall, and cardiovascular disease mortality decreased 13%. In neighborhoods where violent crime dropped the ...Read more

COVID Consequences

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

The pandemic made lots of things worse, including resistance to antimicrobial medicines, which rose 15% in the pandemic's first year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It was worse for some superbugs: a 78% jump among those infected with Acinetobacter, a 60% rise in a fungal disease known as Candida auris and a 32% ...Read more

Suits Me to a Tea

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Green tea generally gets all of the love from health aficionados. It has been associated with improved brain function, fat loss, cancer risk reduction and lower chances of developing heart disease.

But in a new study of half a million Brits, researchers reported that black tea (the most common tea consumed in the United Kingdom) correlated to...Read more

Music to My Fears

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Some 50 years ago, someone noticed that music seemed to dull pain during dental operations. Dentists everywhere have been playing Muzak ever since, which may not be music per se, but that's a different story.

In a new paper, researchers attempt to parse the reason why music soothes the savage beast (in this case, mice) or at least appears to ...Read more

Pill Posture

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University report that standing or sitting tall helps accelerate absorption and effectiveness of pain relievers taken orally. It's all about fluid dynamics.

Most pills don't start working until the stomach releases their ingredients into the intestine. The closer a pill lands to the antrum, the last part of the ...Read more

Holey Microbes!

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A used kitchen sponge wallowing in the sink may be the germiest thing you touch on a daily basis, far "dirtier" than the dishes it is supposed to clean. A Duke University study compared old, used sponges to petri dishes in terms of supporting 80 different strains of E. coli bacteria under different conditions.

The researchers found that ...Read more

Latest Buzz

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

You probably missed it, but Aug. 20 was World Mosquito Day in recognition (if not honor) of the insect responsible for nearly one-fifth of all vector-borne infectious diseases worldwide, including malaria, dengue, Zika, West Nile, chikungunya and yellow fever -- and 700,000 deaths worldwide each year. Mosquitos kill more people than any other ...Read more

 

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