Health Advice



Unvested Interest

Scott LaFee on

Since the 1920s, a visit to the dentist involving X-rays has meant both patients and staff being draped with a lead vest or apron to shield against the harmful effects of radiation.

New safety guidelines from the American Dental Association say the practice can stop because X-ray technologies has evolved significantly and there are better ways to reduce patients' exposure to radiation, such as using digital rather than conventional X-ray film.

Lead aprons and other lead shields provide "no additional benefit to the patient except for some psychological comfort," said the ADA scientists, though they acknowledged many patients will still seek their comforting weight.

Body of Knowledge

When forensic investigators are trying to determine the age of a discovered skeleton, they often examine the clavicle. It is the last bone in the human body to fuse, beginning around age 18 through 21. Sometimes this helps them collar criminals.



77 -- Percentage cancer cases around the world are expected to go up by 2050

Source: WHO

Doc Talk

Milwaukee goiter -- protruding abdominal fat. It's an unkind term, especially since Minnesota isn't even the fattest state in the U.S. That distinction goes to West Virginia, with an obesity rate of 40.6%. Minnesota comes in 30th at 32.4%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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