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Health & Spirit

Smoking Signs

Health / Scott LaFee /

While smoking rates nationally have steadily declined, tobacco use remains notably problematic in some racial and ethnic groups, according to new data from the CDC. For example, more than 43 percent of American Indians and Alaskan Natives had used some type of tobacco in the past month, according to a survey. That compares to 27 percent of ...Read more

Carbo-Boding

Health / Scott LaFee /

Dietary fat has long been considered a dirty word and something to be avoided. But a new international study suggests that when it comes to living longer, the bigger villain may be overabundant carbohydrates.

The published PURE study looked at the eating habits of 135,000 adults in 18 countries representing diverse demographics over more than...Read more

America's Health Rankings

Health / Scott LaFee /

The United Health Foundation is out with its latest annual report assessing the national state of health. It's the usual mixed bag. Based on multiple factors, including vaccination rates, air pollution levels and health insurance coverage, Massachusetts was deemed the nation's healthiest state, followed by Hawaii, Vermont, Utah and Connecticut...Read more

D for Don't Know

Health / Scott LaFee /

For a long time, it's been debated whether taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy provide particular health benefits. Advocates, backed by some studies, say vitamin D reduces the risk of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Others, backed by some studies, say there's no convincing proof. A new analysis of 43 randomized, controlled ...Read more

Pain Gain

Health / Scott LaFee /

The aches and pains of arthritis may be more common than previously thought. New research suggests national estimates based on whether study participants recall ever complaining to a health professional about arthritis, likely do not capture all cases. They estimate that (more accurate but higher) 56 percent of men and 69 percent of women over...Read more

Heart of the Matter

Health / Scott LaFee /

You're having chest pains. An ambulance rushes you to an emergency room where physicians begin a battery of exams, including CT scans and cardiac stress tests, to determine whether you're having a heart attack. It's reassuring, but is it necessary?

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis suggest not. In published findings, they said...Read more

Hurt Blocker

Health / Scott LaFee /

If you plan on slicing a finger or scraping a knee anytime soon, try to make it during the day. Scientists report that the time of day when you're injured may impact healing rate, based upon the circadian rhythms of skin cells.

Looking at a database of persons recovering from burn wounds, they found that people injured during the day took 17 ...Read more

Olden, Not Golden

Health / Scott LaFee /

Old age is not for sissies, the joke goes, though findings in a new Kaiser Family Foundation report on health in later life are nothing to laugh about.

The report polled 2,040 adults, including 998 interviews with people who had experienced recent serious illness in older age, either personally or with a family member. It found that 56 ...Read more

The Joy of Soy

Health / Scott LaFee /

In 1999, the Food and Drug Administration approved the health claim that consumption of soy protein (as opposed to animal products) helped protect against heart disease. The agency doesn't do that very often -- only 12 times in fact -- and it has never rescinded an approved claim.

But it's thinking about it now. In recent years, the link ...Read more

Hypopressive Hype

Health / Scott LaFee /

Hypopressive exercise, also known as hypopressive abdominal gymnastics, is a relatively new type of exercise touted as a way for women to manage leaky bladders or prolapsed wombs. It's all about intensely activating postural muscles while controlling breathing.

It's also very popular, promoted by physical therapists, athletic coaches and ...Read more

Sound Emotions

Health / Scott LaFee /

Eyes may be windows to the soul, but if you really want to know how someone else is feeling, Yale University scientists suggest closing your eyes and listening. They say tone of voice may be a better indicator of figuring out others' emotions than looking at facial expressions or body language.

The researchers conducted a series of published ...Read more

Fatty Breath

Health / Scott LaFee /

When you exercise, you burn carbohydrates, such as sugar. If you exercise long and hard enough, you burn fat too. Currently, the only way to know for sure when you're actually burning fat is to measure biomarkers in blood or urine, which is obviously problematic if, say, you're in the middle of a swim or long run.

Swiss researchers, however, ...Read more

Makena Buck

Health / Scott LaFee /

Take a couple of aspirin before you read this. Generic is OK.

For years, compound pharmacies -- places where drugs can be mixed to meet specific patient needs -- have made a drug that helps prevent preterm births. The generic cost of the therapy averaged $206 per pregnancy, according to the health news service STAT.

Then the FDA granted KV ...Read more

 

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