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Air, Apparently

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Why the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 is so much more transmissible than previous variants remains an ongoing topic of scientific inquiry, but one clue has emerged: It's much better at traveling through the air.

In a Hong Kong University study, research found that over the first 24 hours, omicron multiplied roughly 70 times faster in the ...Read more

Dog Days of the Pandemic

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Before we chow down on this story, let's note that the study was funded by Nestle Purina, the dog food maker. Company scientists looked at how dogs and their humans interacted during the pandemic, citing previous research that suggested canines can influence their owners' well-being.

In an online survey of 1,500 people, they found that those ...Read more

Wheel of Fortune

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Caged mice provided with a running wheel will partake for hours on end, enough to perhaps run a marathon every few days (26.1 miles), which is quite an accomplishment given their tiny legs. All that running keeps them fit, physically and cognitively, boosting blood flow to the brain, growing more neurons and improving navigation skills and ...Read more

More Hospital Food

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

The number of people hospitalized for eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia) doubled in 2020 from 2019, with the median hospital stay growing from nine to 12 days.

Researchers say there are a number of possible reasons, all related to the COVID-19 pandemic: a focus on obesity as a COVID risk factor led to unhealthy dieting; fear of contagion ...Read more

Hear, Here

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

The Food and Drug Administration has proposed creating a new category of over-the-counter hearing aids that could be purchased without a test, prescription or fitting. Approximately 37 million Americans suffer from some degree of hearing loss. It can cost as much as $5,000 to go through the testing and processes to acquire a pair of doctor-...Read more

A Little Dose of Cash

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Not so long ago, one of the most popular ideas for boosting COVID-19 vaccination rates was running million-dollar vaccine lotteries. Get vaccinated, and you had a chance to become very rich!

But it turns out a little cash in hand is a better enticer to getting a shot in the shoulder. A study on JAMA Network Open found that when vaccination ...Read more

Air on the Side of Caution

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Continual exposure to air pollution, even at levels permitted by U.S. regulations, may be associated with thousands of early deaths, according to a new study published in the Lancet Planetary Health journal.

Researchers tracked people enrolled in Medicare from 2000 through 2016, mapping pollution where they lived to health outcomes. Unlike ...Read more

Acetaminophen During Pregnancy

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

In a published study signed by 100 physicians, the authors raised concerns about possible links between the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and developmental problems in children, including neurological and reproductive issues that start in the womb.

Acetaminophen is a pain- and fever-reducing compound used in hundreds of drugs, over-...Read more

Which Came First: Migraine or Sleepless Night?

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

People who suffer from migraines often have trouble getting a good night's sleep, but it's not clear whether migraines cause poor sleep quality or poor sleep quality causes migraines.

A new meta-analysis of 32 studies involving more than 10,000 people doesn't answer the question but it did identify two key factors. First, adults and children ...Read more

Personality and Alzheimer's Disease

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Apart from biological factors such as amyloid plaques and tau tangles, new research suggests some personality traits may be risk factors for Alzheimer's disease. The factors have been proven to be causal but may be associated with Alzheimer's and related dementias.

Specifically, scientists found that neuroticism -- the personality trait that ...Read more

Can't Beat a Good Story

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

When people watch the same movie together, their hearts begin to beat in time. It's not the shared emotional experience however that causes the effect but rather similar cognitive work in their brains.

In a new study, researchers tested volunteers listening to an audiobook of Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," watching ...Read more

During the Pandemic, One Thing Didn't Change

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

When jobs began disappearing during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was presumed health insurance coverage would soon follow. But a new analysis indicates the percentage of uninsured working-age adults remained the same from March 2019 to April 2021 at approximately 11%.

There was internal change, however. Many people moved from employer plans to ...Read more

Food For Naught

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Children are increasingly getting the majority of their daily calories from ultraprocessed foods high in sugar, salt and trans fat, says a new report. In 2000, data on daily food intake estimated ultraprocessed foods constituted 61% of children's caloric consumption. In 2018, the latest data available, it had risen to 67%.

The rise in ...Read more

 

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