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Health & Spirit

America's Health Rankings

Scott LaFee on

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. At the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi was No. 50 with Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama and West Virginia filling out the bottom five.

Here's Looking at Glue

Scientists at USC have created a glue to seal eye injuries that's activated by body heat. The polymer glue temporarily seals wounds, solidifying with body heat. It can be repositioned or removed with a bit of cold water. There are millions of eye injuries each year, and many require quick action to prevent vision loss. The glue could be a fast, interim step before any necessary surgery to permanently repair an injury.

Body of Knowledge

The growth rate of hair is genetically determined, and varies by individual. However, assorted studies suggest that hair overall tends to grow faster during summer months, possibly due to hormones released more abundantly in warmer temperatures. On the negative side, hair also tends to be shed more frequently and in greater numbers when it gets hot.

Get me that. Stat!

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Spending on prescription drugs grew just 1.3 percent in 2016, a sharp drop from 12.4 percent growth in 2015. A big reason for the drop: Less money spent on drugs used to treat hepatitis C. (Though very effective, some of the new drugs are very expensive. A three-month course of treatment can easily cost $70,000 to $100,000.)

Life in Big Macs

One hour of light baking burns 170 calories (based on a 150-pound person) or the equivalent of 0.2 Big Macs. Don't think you can sample your work with impunity: A medium blueberry muffin contains 426 calories.

Stories for the Waiting Room

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