Health & Spirit

No Fan of Heat

Scott LaFee on

When temperatures rise, it seems like a no-brainer to reach over and flick on an electric fan. But it might not be such a hot idea.

In a small study, researchers asked men to sit for two hours in either very hot and dry heat or very hot and humid conditions -- some with fans and some without. The men who used fans in hot and dry conditions had worse measures of body heat, including a higher strain on their cardiovascular systems, while those in humid conditions showed improvements in most measures, except sweating.

Caveat: The study involved young men, and so the findings can't be generalized to women, children or the elderly.

Antacids and Allergies

A new study finds that ingesting prescription antacids is associated with an increased risk of allergies. Scientists looked at the health records of more than 8 million Austrians and found that those who took prescription antacids were almost twice as likely to develop allergies as those who didn't take the medications. Women and people over the age of 60 were particularly impacted.

The authors hypothesize that the relationship may be due to antacids raising pH in the stomach to alleviate acidity (as opposed to some drug-specific action) but cautioned there are many unknown factors still to be investigated.


Get Me That, Stat!

Infant mortality rates in the U.S. appears to have leveled off, having remained roughly the same since 2013. More than 22,300 infants died in the U.S. in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a rate of roughly six deaths per 1,000 births.

The infant mortality rate was highest for those born to women under the age of 20, a rate almost 90% higher than for babies born to women ages 30 to 34.

The leading cause of death among infants in 2017 was congenital malformations, followed by disorders due to low birth weight, maternal complications, sudden infant death syndrome and accidental injuries.


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