Health & Spirit

High, Kids

Scott LaFee on

Elevated blood pressure levels aren't just for adults anymore. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports the ailment is increasing in children. It's estimated that 3.5 percent of kids in the U.S. have hypertension, or chronic high blood pressure. The rise is worrying enough that a new set of screening and treatment guidelines are being released to pediatricians, which include an annual blood pressure test for every kid.

Contact Your Eye Care Provider

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control says that virtually every person over the age of 25 who wears contacts -- 87 percent -- has at least one bad habit when it comes to wearing and taking care of their vision aids.

The most common no-nos were not swapping out contacts or contact cases often enough and falling asleep without first removing contacts. These bad habits increase chances of an eye infection or vision problems.

Body of Knowledge

It's estimated that 37 thousand billion billion chemical reactions -- that's 37 followed by 21 zeroes -- occur per second in the human body.

Get Me That, Stat!

From 1999 to 2007, the death rate from drug overdose among adolescents (ages 15-19) more than doubled (1.6 deaths per 100,000 to 4.2). From 2007 to 2014, it declined 26 percent to 3.1 per 100,000. The opioid/heroin crisis has reversed that trend. In 2015, the rate was back up to 3.7 per 100,000.

Number Cruncher

A Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (47.6 grams) contains 200 calories, 108 from fat. It has 12 grams of total fat or 18 percent of the recommended total fat intake for a 2,000-calorie daily diet.

It also contains 5 milligrams of cholesterol (2 percent); 95 mg of sodium (4 percent); 22 grams of total carbohydrates (7 percent); 0.5 g of dietary fiber; 10 g of sugar and 2 g of protein.


321,780: Estimated average cost of dementia care, in dollars, spread over five years

70: Percentage of financial burden borne by families

Source: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Stories for the Waiting Room

Comedian and actor Jerry Lewis, who died last month at age 91, was also famous for hosting the Labor Day telethon in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He co-hosted the first telethon in 1956 with Dean Martin and continued alone until 2011. During that period, he helped raise nearly $2.5 billion for the charity, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Doc Talk

Hypovolemia: a state of severe blood loss, specifically blood plasma

Phobia of the Week

Fykiaphobia: Fear of seaweed

Never Say Diet

The Major League Eating record for date nut bread sandwiches with cream cheese is 29.5 in 8 minutes, held by Patrick Bertoletti. The event was sponsored by (coffee maker?) Chock full o'Nuts, which might also describe the contestants and event.

Best Medicine

A man goes in for a chest X-ray.

Doctor: "I've got your film. It shows you have pimples on your left ventricle."

Man: "Omigod. What does that mean?"

Doctor: "You're still a teenager at heart."


"I got the bill for my surgery. Now I know why those doctors were wearing masks."

--Author and humorist James H. Boren (1926-2010)

Medical History

This week in 1999, the death of an 83-year-old man stung by a swarm of Africanized "killer" bees marked the first fatality by that cause in the state of California. The victim, Virgil Foster, was (ironically enough) a beekeeper who was mowing his lawn. He was stung at least 50 times by the highly aggressive bees, receiving a high dose of toxins. He was not breathing when paramedics arrived and went into cardiac arrest, which eventually proved fatal. Foster's three hives had been taken over by wild Africanized honeybees, which were first seen in the U.S. in Texas after migrating north from Brazil. Foster's death was preceded by several others in other U.S. states.

Med School

Q: What is the most common disease in the world?

A: Arguably dental caries. The World Health Organization estimated that 2.43 billion people (36 percent of the global population) have active cavities in their permanent teeth. Virtually every adult has dental caries at some point in time. By age 65, 96 percent of Americans will have had tooth decay.

Curtain Calls

Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816) was one of the founding fathers of the United States, a New York native who wrote large sections of the Constitution and represented Pennsylvania at the 1787 Constitutional Convention. He is widely credited as the author the document's famous preamble ("We the people..."). Despite his name, he was never a governor, but filled in as a New York senator after James Watson resigned.

Morris died after attempting to treat a blockage in his urinary track by inserting a piece of whalebone, puncturing tissue and causing sepsis. He died three days later.


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