Health & Spirit

Where's to Your Health

Health / Scott LaFee /

According to a new ranking by U.S. News & World Report and the Aetna Foundation, the healthiest community in the country is Falls Church, Virginia, based on categories such as education, infrastructure and population health, which takes into account access to care, mental health and health outcomes.

The survey ranked 3,000 communities and ...Read more

Heart of the Matter

Health / Scott LaFee /

Disparities in heart health among ethnicities in the U.S. have narrowed in recent years, according to a new analysis, but not in a good way. Most Americans do not have healthy hearts -- at least as healthy as their doctors or medical guidelines would suggest.

The analysis, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that less than 40 ...Read more

Mind Your Money

Health / Scott LaFee /

A report in JAMA looked at health care spending in the U.S. and other high-income countries. The findings might make you a bit queasy. The U.S. spent approximately $1,443 per person on health care in 2016, almost twice the next highest country, Switzerland at $939 per person.

It wasn't because Americans use health care more often than ...Read more

Makes Your Bank Account Boil

Health / Scott LaFee /

If you have hypertension, a chronic condition that affects an estimated third of U.S. adults, your blood pressure isn't the only thing on the high side. So, too, are your health care costs. The Health Care Cost Institute says that in 2016, adults with hypertension spent 3.2 times more in total and 2.2 times more in out-of-pocket costs for ...Read more

Dissecting 'Grey's Anatomy'

Health / Scott LaFee /

The popular TV show Grey's Anatomy is often extolled by its fans as a realistic (if dramatized) look at life and death in the emergency room. So a group of doctors at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Arizona decided to see just how accurately the show depicted real life and real medical emergencies and conditions.

They watched 269 ...Read more

No, Uh, Kidding

Health / Scott LaFee /

The influential Infectious Diseases Society of America has stepped into it (an ongoing debate, that is), recommending that fecal transplants -- in which donor fecal matter is transferred to a patient - be used for persons in which standard antibiotic treatments for severe diarrhea caused by a bacterium called C. difficile have failed.

More ...Read more

Donation Nation

Health / Scott LaFee /

Dutch lawmakers have approved a new measure that signs up every citizen as a potential organ donor unless they choose to opt out. It's an effort to ease the global, chronic shortage of donor organs and reduce transplant waitlists. Under the new law, every Dutch citizen over the age of 18 who hasn't registered as an organ donor will receive a ...Read more

Raw Deal

Health / Scott LaFee /

Proponents of raw milk like to describe it as a "living food," which is to say that the pasteurization process used in most commercially sold milk hasn't destroyed raw milk's heat-sensitive enzymes, vitamins and beneficial bacteria.

But that lack of pasteurization also means bad bacteria survive too. A recent CDC report looked at a 2016 ...Read more

Why Lupus is Mostly a Woman's Disease

Health / Scott LaFee /

Of the 16,000 cases of lupus -- a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body -- that are reported each year in the United States, 90 percent occur in women. Sex differences have long and obviously been suspect as a driving factor, but now scientists think they have a specific culprit: over-expression of a gene called Tlr7....Read more

Up In Smoke

Health / Scott LaFee /

As marijuana use increases, there's increasing interest and debate over its broader health effects. One area of contention is the impact of cannabis upon cardiovascular health. In a paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers looked at 24 observational studies that examined adults using any form of marijuana and potentially...Read more

The President's Number

Health / Scott LaFee /

President Trump had a physical recently, after which his Navy doctor declared that he stood 6-foot-2 and weighed 236 pounds, which based on the Body Mass Index (BMI) scale, defined him as overweight but not quite in the category of obese.

There were many skeptics, who doubted both the numbers and the conclusion. But there are other things to ...Read more

Make it a Trouble

Health / Scott LaFee /

A new National Institutes of Health study says visits to the emergency room linked to alcohol use and abuse have risen nearly 50 percent between 2006 and 2014, with the largest increase among females and drinkers who are middle-aged or older.

Roughly 5 million Americans are transported to hospital emergency rooms each year for medical ...Read more

Bad Bug

Health / Scott LaFee /

This promises to be a very nasty flu season, both in terms of prevalence and severity. A primary reason is that the H3N2 influenza strain is more dominant this year than in other years, and the strain tends to make people more miserable and causes more death than other strains.

Helen Branswell at STAT cites three factors:

--H3N2 causes more ...Read more


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