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Focus on Health
Finding Reliable Health Information Online
The Internet can be a treasure trove of health information. But how much of it can you trust? A recent study suggests it may depend on what you are searching for. Being a savvy online user can help you find credible content.
Sleep and the Aging Brain
Sleep is an essential part of life. Without it, your body—and mind—don’t work up to par. That may be especially true as you age. A recent study suggests that older adults who sleep better think better overall.
Keep Home Canning Safe
Summer can be fleeting—its warm embrace lingering for too short a time. Canning is one way you can capture some of the season. The flavors of your garden can last well into winter and beyond. But make sure you do it right to prevent food poisoning.
Be Smart About Water Safety
Warmer weather sends many people into the water. That makes summer a high time for drowning. Fortunately, the latest research shows the number of drowning deaths is falling. But not for all age groups. Read on to learn how you can protect yourself and your loved ones this season.
Obesity and Falls: A Risk Factor for Older Adults
Obesity is linked to many health woes. The list includes heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Here’s one you may have never thought of, though: falling. At least for older adults, being obese may actually make falls more likely.
Another Stop-Smoking Benefit: Better Mental Health
Lung cancer. Heart disease. Asthma. Smoking can lead to these and many other health problems. But in case you need another reason to not light up, consider this: Quitting may improve your mental health.
Is Antibacterial Soap Worth the Lather?
The simple act of washing your hands with plain soap can have an important effect on your health. It can help ward off germs—no special soap required. In fact, lathering up with antibacterial soap may not impart better germ protection. Its active ingredient may also do more harm than good.
Are You Up-to-Date on Colorectal Cancer Screening?
Colorectal cancer is a stealthy disease. It can stay unnoticed in your colon or rectum. By the time you develop symptoms, it has grown and possibly spread, making it harder to treat. Screening can help spot this cancer early. But too many U.S. adults ages 50 and older are still skirting this lifesaving tool.
Fewer Americans Dying From Stroke
Over the last several decades, stroke has claimed fewer American lives. It has slid from third to fourth among the leading causes of death in the U.S. Experts credit several factors—many within your control—for its continued decline. Are you doing all you can to prevent a stroke?
The HPV Vaccine: Fact vs. Fiction
The latest statistics show that those who would benefit most from the HPV vaccine—adolescent girls and boys—aren’t necessarily taking advantage of its cancer-preventing potential.
Have You Been Screened for HIV?
HIV may seem like a distant health threat—something that affects other people, but not you. Yet, you should be tested at least once for this deadly virus, according to health experts.
Protect Your Family from These Invisible Killers
They creep into your home, seeping through cracks, drifting through drywall. Odorless, colorless, and tasteless, carbon monoxide and radon are two toxic gases that can seriously harm you — without your knowing it. Fortunately, you can protect yourself and your family from these invisible killers.
Pancreatic Cancer Is on the Rise
Scientific breakthroughs have made a big difference in finding and treating some of the most common cancers. For example, mammography has made it easier to find breast cancer early. The same can’t be said for pancreatic cancer. The disease remains hard to detect and treat. That’s one reason why experts predict more deaths from it in the future.
After-Cancer Care Needed for More Survivors
Being told you have cancer can change everything. You may feel overwhelmed and uncertain. The good news: More Americans are surviving the disease. That fact is highlighting the need for quality care after cancer.
Are You Addicted to Tanning?
Catching some rays isn’t the best way to spend your summer days. After all, tanning raises your risk for skin cancer. It’s the most common cancer in the U.S. Yet some people may crave that sun-kissed glow, suggests a recent study.
Breast Pain: Should You Be Concerned?
Many women contend with breast tenderness or pain. It’s common to have before your menstrual period. Clinically called mastalgia, breast pain usually isn’t a sign of something serious, such as breast cancer. Even more good news: You don’t have to live with it.
Should You Be Tested for the Breast Cancer Gene?
Your genes are like an encyclopedia. They contain valuable information about you—for example, your eye color, height, or skin tone. They can also determine your risk for certain diseases, including breast cancer. Genetic testing may help some women take action against this potential health concern. Is it right for you?
Not All Breast Cancers Are the Same
All breast cancers have this in common: They begin in breast tissue. Beyond that, they aren’t all the same. Doctors use these differences to decide on the most effective treatment plan for women diagnosed with the disease.
Assistance Programs Aid Breast Cancer Patients
From time to time, we all need a helping hand. That’s even more the case if you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer. A patient assistance program may ease difficulties related to the disease. Unfortunately, many women don’t know about these services.
The Latest Ways to Curb Breast Cancer
Eating peanut butter and breastfeeding. These two activities may see like they have nothing in common. But recent research suggests they may be two of the latest ways you can curb your risk for breast cancer.
Should You Consider Preventive Drugs for Breast Cancer?
All women have at least some risk for breast cancer. But some are more likely than others to eventually develop the disease. Health organizations urge these high-risk women to talk with their doctor about chemoprevention. Certain drugs may actually be able to help ward off breast cancer.
Work the Night Shift? You May Be More Prone to Breast Cancer
Humans are naturally diurnal—we prefer to be active during the day and sleep at night. Working the night shift disrupts this normal pattern . The result: a potential host of health problems, including insomnia, heart disease, and stomach illnesses . Recent research implies you can also add breast cancer to that list.
Why Breast Density Matters
Certain factors can raise your risk for breast cancer. Some you probably already know about, such as age and a family history of the disease. But what about breast density? Research shows that not all women have a clear understanding of breast density and its connection to breast cancer. Read on to learn more about this lesser-known risk factor.
Expanding the Screening Arsenal for Breast Cancer
Until a cure is found, early detection remains the soundest strategy we have against breast cancer. The best tool at hand is mammography. It saves women's lives. But it's not perfect. As a result, scientists are developing other imaging tests to help spot breast cancer.
Chronic Condition News
Timing Matters for Some Heartburn Medication
A bowl of spicy chili, a cup of coffee, some deep-fried onion rings—these foods may be tasty. But they can also cause heartburn. When this discomfort hits you a few times a week or more, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
Diabetes Rates Have Nearly Doubled
Diabetes affects many Americans. You or a loved one may even have it. It’s a disease that can have an impact on your entire body—in particular, your heart, eyes, and kidneys. It’s the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. And it’s on the rise.
Shoulder Surgery Can Relieve RA Symptoms
The human shoulder is an anatomical wonder. It’s more flexible than any other joint in your body. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can limit this range of movement. So much so, that you may want to consider surgery to relieve pain and stiffness.
Having a Baby? Get Screened for Diabetes
If you are a mother-to-be, your health is central to your baby’s well-being. Gestational diabetes can threaten this vital connection. It can cause trouble with delivery, premature birth, and other serious problems. That’s why health experts recommend that all pregnant women be screened for the disease.
Good Blood Sugar Control Vital for Wound Healing
When you have diabetes, a small scrape or cut can turn into a big problem. A wound may take a long time to heal. Even worse, it may become infected. The results of a recent study reinforce just how important good blood sugar control is for proper wound healing.
Eye Care Critical If You Have Diabetes
Much of the damage diabetes does to your body you can’t see. That includes diabetic retinopathy. This eye problem usually causes no early symptoms. But it can lead to poor vision and even blindness. Taking care of your eyes can prevent it and other eye diseases.
Getting Personal About Diabetes and Nutrition
What you eat plays an important part in how well you manage your diabetes. For the best blood sugar control, is it better to follow a Mediterranean diet? What about becoming a vegetarian? The latest nutrition guidelines from the American Diabetes Association decipher this diet dilemma. They also dish out other nutrition basics.
Diabetes Can Be Challenging for Older Adults
Diabetes is never easy to manage. That may especially ring true if you are older than 65. Older adults tend to face more health challenges than younger people with the disease.
People with Diabetes Often Have Arthritis, Too
You may have no trouble walking, taking a shower, or even changing clothes. But for people with diabetes or arthritis, these simple daily activities can become hard to do — even more so if they suffer from both conditions. A recent study found it’s not uncommon for people to have this disabling duo.
Watch Out for Diabetes Drug Scams
Diabetes is becoming a health reality for more and more Americans. In response to this epidemic, dishonest companies want to cash in. Their products—sold online or in stores as dietary supplements, over-the-counter drugs, and unapproved prescriptions—masquerade as proven diabetes treatments.
After-Meal Walks May Cut Diabetes Risk
Scientists have yet to invent a pill that prevents type 2 diabetes. But you have the next best thing: exercise. And you don't necessarily need to spend lots of time doing it. In fact, a recent study suggests just a 15-minute walk after every meal may help stave off the disease.
Diabetes May Be Worse for Women
Between men and women, diabetes doesn't always play fair. Both sexes are just as likely to develop the disease. But science shows that women may fare worse once they have it, particularly in terms of heart health.
For Your Child
Childhood Bullying May Lead to Grown-Up Problems
Being bullied isn’t something most children want to talk about. Yet, 1 out of 4 children report such peer abuse. The immediate result is low self-esteem and depression. These negative health effects and others may even linger into adulthood.
Are You Aware of These Household Hazards?
You can’t protect your child from every cut, scrape, or bruise. Such injuries are virtually a rite of childhood. You can take precautions to make your home a safer place, though. Here are 4 household hazards you may have never considered.
Many Teens Feeling Stressed Out
We all feel stress. And children aren’t immune to the pressure. They may struggle with school, sports, and other daily demands. A recent national survey shows stress can be especially troubling for teenagers.
Safety Restraints Save Children’s Lives
Your car can be a dangerous place for your child. More children die from motor vehicle accidents than from any other type of mishap. The latest statistics show such incidents are declining. But many more could be prevented with proper safety restraints.
More U.S. Children Need a Daily Dose of Exercise
One hour a day. That’s all it takes for your child to meet the national physical activity guidelines. Unfortunately, a recent government report found too few U.S. children are reaching that goal.
Hearing Loss Is Hitting Children Hard
Parents, now hear this: More American children are losing some or all of their hearing. But too few parents seem to be aware of any hearing hazards, according to a recent survey. By taking steps now, you can help keep your child’s hearing well-tuned into adulthood.
Could Your Teen Daughter Have PCOS?
Puberty can be a trying time in a young girl’s life. Your daughter may struggle with acne or irregular periods. These are often normal coming-of-age signs. But they can sometimes indicate a serious condition called polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS.
Behavioral Problems Linked to Toxic Lead
As every parent knows, your little angel can sometimes be bad. But if a young child has serious behavioral problems, it may be a sign of lead poisoning. A recent study found lead’s toxic effects may not just be physical.
Ear Infections: A Frequent Child Malady
It’s a common childhood complaint: an earache. Ear pain often heralds an ear infection — the leading reason children visit the doctor. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated its guidelines for managing ear infections. Arm yourself with the latest about this frequent child malady.
Play It Safe on the Playground
Whatever your child imagines, a playground can be: a pirate ship, a fort, a medieval castle. Playgrounds are perfect places to exercise your child’s mind and body. A few precautions can help keep these areas of adventure and activity safe.
The Benefits of Well-Child Visits
Childhood is prime time for episodes worthy of a doctor visit. Sprains, concussions, and ear infections-to name just a few. A trip to the doctor when your child is well can be just as essential. Periodic well-child visits can alert you to developmental delays and provide valuable parenting advice. They may even help deter critical care, such as hospitalizations.
Deciphering Autism’s Origins
More parents and doctors are on the alert for autism spectrum disorder (ASD )-often simply called autism. They know its symptoms: social problems, communication troubles, and repetitive behavior. This greater awareness may be behind rising rates of ASD, particularly in children ages 6 to 17.
On a Statin? A Healthy Lifestyle Is Still Important
Statins are one of the most widely used drugs. They have helped many people lower their cholesterol. That, in turn, has lowered their risk for heart disease. Unfortunately, 2 recent studies found that some statin users may be ignoring other heart-healthy choices—namely, eating a low-fat diet and exercising regularly.
What Makes Red Meat So Unhealthy?
A juicy steak from the grill may seem like the perfect summer staple. But for your heart’s sake, you may want to pass on that piece of protein. Red meat—like beef, pork, and lamb—can be high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Plus, it contains another substance that may be bad for your heart: heme iron.
Can Airplane Noise Hurt Your Heart?
Airplanes have transformed travel. You can now reach far-away destinations in the same day. For people living under flight paths, though, airplane noise may be harmful to the heart. Recent research suggests it may raise the risk for heart disease and stroke.
Is Your Sweet Tooth Harming Your Heart?
You can’t sugarcoat this fact: Americans are eating too much sugar. We eat about 18 teaspoons of the sweetener every day. Although it tastes good, sugar isn’t very nutritious. What’s more, your sweet tooth may be bad for your heart.
Do You Have High Blood Pressure?
With every heartbeat, blood rushes through your body. It pushes against your artery walls. You can’t feel this force, even if it’s higher than it should be. That’s why many people don’t know they have hypertension, or high blood pressure.
What the New Cholesterol Guidelines Mean for You
Late last year, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issued new guidelines for treating high cholesterol. Their goal: to reduce heart disease and stroke. Here are key points you should know.
When Is It Safe to Have Sex After a Heart Attack?
A heart attack can change everything, even your sex life. You may wonder when you can have sex again or if it’s OK to do so. Research reveals many heart attack survivors are unsure about sexual activity. Talking with your doctor can ease your worries.
Sleeping Too Little, Too Much Linked to Heart Woes
Too little or too much sleep has been linked to a host of heart woes, according to a recent study. What’s considered just right? Seven to 9 hours of shut-eye.
Secondhand Smoke: Harmful to Your Heart
Smoking bans are lighting up across the U.S. Since 2000, more than half of all states and numerous municipalities have enacted laws that limit smoking in restaurants, bars, and public places. A recent study shows such changes may be a boon to heart health, particularly for nonsmokers.
Heart Rhythm Problem Becoming More Common
Your heart beats an average of 60 to 100 times every minute. Despite this constant movement, you probably don’t notice it. That isn’t always the case for the growing number of Americans who have atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm problem.
Poor Heart Health May Hurt Your Brain, Too
Here's a good reason to keep your heart hearty: your mind. A recently published study suggests unhealthy heart habits may impair brain function-no matter what your age.
Anger May Up the Ante for a Heart Attack
Anger is a powerful emotion. From a subdued simmer to an explosive tempest, it can stress the body. Past research has linked anger with heart disease. And now, a recent study suggests outbursts of ire may actually trigger a heart attack.
Job Stress May Raise Your Risk for Diabetes
You can’t catch type 2 diabetes like you can a cold. But certain things make you more likely to get the disease. These include having a family history of diabetes and being overweight. You may also want to add work stress to that list. It may seem like an unlikely culprit. But a recent study suggests otherwise.
Prostate Cancer and Melanoma: Is There a Connection?
Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, may seem to have little in common with prostate cancer. But a recent study suggests otherwise. Prostate cancer may actually raise a man’s risk for melanoma.
RLS: A Serious Health Risk for Men
If you have RLS, you feel a constant urge to move your legs when sitting or lying down. You may have strange sensations—tingling, throbbing, or creeping—in your lower limbs. These symptoms—often worse at night—can seriously affect a man’s health, recent research reveals.
Men May Show Depression Differently
Depression can weigh down anyone. Compared with women, though, fewer men are diagnosed with this common mental health condition. Why? A recent study says it may be partly because men show depression differently.
Problem Gambling: A Risky Addiction
It may start with a lucky lottery ticket, a winning hand at poker, or the matching reels of a slot machine. The ending is rarely profitable. Problem gambling—or compulsive gambling—ensnares at least 6 million people in the U.S.—many of them men. It’s an addiction that can yield financial and personal ruin.
Long-Term Unemployment May Be Linked to a Shorter Life
Losing your job can certainly be stressful. You may worry about your future—how you will pay your bills or take care of yourself and your family. Being unemployed can affect your mental and physical health. Long-term unemployment may be even more detrimental. A recent study suggests it may shorten your lifespan.
Eating Disorders Trouble Men, Too
Traditionally labeled a woman’s problem, eating disorders may trouble more men than originally thought. Current research suggests they may simply go unrecognized.
Managing the Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatment
Men diagnosed with prostate cancer today have several treatment options. But no matter your treatment choice, long-term side effects are possible.
Should You Be Screened for an Aneurysm?
Blood travels throughout your body on a highway of sorts. Arteries transport oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body; veins return oxygen-stripped blood back. Like a car accident, an abdominal aortic aneurysm can disrupt this normal flow. Screening for this often fatal condition may save your life.
Eating Breakfast Can Do a Man’s Heart Good
As the first meal of the day, breakfast fuels you. It supplies much-needed energy after sleeping—a period of fasting for your body. Unfortunately, some men don’t partake in this daily morning fill-up.
Prostate Cancer Screening: A Complex Decision
Screening for prostate cancer isn't complicated-all it takes is a blood sample. Deciding to do it may not be quite so easy. Recent research suggests such testing may do more harm than good. This emerging evidence has prompted many experts-the latest in line, the American College of Physicians-to rethink routine prostate cancer screening. Men may want to do the same.
Low T? Know the Risks of Testosterone Treatment
Hormones hold a lot of sway in the human body. And not just in women. A drop in the hormone testosterone can spur unsettling symptoms in men. Low T-as it's called-has more men seeking testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), despite the risks.
Mind and Body
Wanted: Whole Grains in Your Diet
Your local grocery store is brimming with whole grains. While browsing the aisles, you’ll find brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and quinoa—to name only a few. These foods can fortify you against diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Are you filling up on enough of them?
Cracking the Nut to a Longer Life
Humans have nibbled on nuts for centuries. Archeologists discovered almonds stashed in King Tut’s tomb in Egypt. They also unearthed walnuts from the ruins of Pompeii. A long-time dietary staple, nuts come packed with nutrients. A fact that could explain why a recent study found eating more of them may lead to a longer life.
Many Older Adults Struggle With Pain
Pain is like an alarm system. It signals when something is wrong in your body. It can last only minutes or linger for months. For many older adults, pain may be a constant companion, suggests a recent study. It may even limit daily activities.
Being Bilingual May Boost Brain Health
Dementia is a growing threat to more Americans. In fact, experts predict that cases of Alzheimer’s disease—the most common type of dementia—will triple by 2050. An aging population partly accounts for this uptick.
Want to Control Your Weight? Add Brisk Activity to Your Day
Finding time for fitness is important, especially if you are trying to lose or control your weight. Thanks to a recent study, fitting it in may be easier than you think.
Strength Training Can Pump Up Your Health
When you think of strength training, your first thought may be of a bodybuilder laboring to lift heavy weights. It need not be so extreme, though. Everyone can reap the health benefits of muscle strengthening. Unfortunately, too few Americans are minding their muscles, according to a recent government study.
5 Foods That May Lengthen—or Shorten—Your Lifespan
Science may be tweaking the old adage “you are what you eat.” Five recent studies dish out which foods may be better than others in helping us live longer. They suggest it may be more suitable to say “your age is what you eat.”
Adult Day Care Can Ease Caregiver Stress
Caring for a parent or another older adult isn't easy. You may feel overwhelmed and stressed out. If you are yearning for some relief, adult day care may be the solution. Research shows it not only helps those enrolled in such programs, but their caregivers, too.
Solving the Riddle of Rheumatoid Arthritis
The final frontier-it isn't necessarily space. A lot closer to home, the human body holds just as much mystery. Consider rheumatoid arthritis (RA). After decades of research, scientists still can't pinpoint the exact cause of the disease. The latest studies suggest a complex combination of genetics and unhealthy habits, putting some of the power of prevention in our hands.
Be Smart About Sleep Aids
Sleep can be elusive. On some nights, we easily cozy up with it. On others, it may linger frustratingly out of reach. Struggling for some shuteye may entice you to try a sleep aid. Used properly, sleep aids can help. But they aren't without risks.
Aspirin and Ovarian Cancer: A Possible Pill for Prevention?
Aspirin can help with a number of health problems. It can relieve pain. It can lower a fever. It can even prevent a heart attack or stroke. More recently, scientists have found another possible benefit. It may help stop ovarian cancer.
Preventing Stroke in Women
A stroke can strike anyone—no matter your age, ethnicity, or sex. There is no typical stroke victim. Yet women are slightly more likely than men to have a stroke and die from it. These troubling facts recently led health experts to compile the first female-focused guidelines for stroke prevention.
Is Asthma Worse for Women?
Asthma is a thief. It steals the breath away from more than 25 million Americans. Women are especially likely to have this chronic lung disease. And they may struggle more with asthma problems, so suggests a recent study.
What You Need to Know About Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids are a common condition. Some research suggests up to 8 out of 10 women may have these noncancerous tumors. Many don’t know it, though, because they may never have any symptoms. For those who do, timely treatment can restore a woman’s well-being.
Hot Flashes: You Don’t Have to Take the Heat
A sudden rush of heat across your face and upper body, followed by a rapid heartbeat, sweating, even chills—these are likely the signs of a hot flash. It’s the chief complaint for many women approaching menopause. The latest treatment options can help you manage these bothersome symptoms.
More Women Are Dying From Prescription Painkillers
Taking prescription painkillers like Vicodin and Oxycontin may not seem like a life-threatening act. After all, you can obtain them through your doctor. But if you don’t use these medications properly, they can be deadly. More women, in particular, are overdosing on these drugs.
Newer Prenatal Test Less Risky for Finding Birth Defects
Every mother-to-be hopes for a healthy baby. Prenatal testing can help your doctor identify problems before your child is born. Some of these tests can be risky for the fetus. Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is a safer technique that may provide answers about certain birth defects.
Kidney Stones: A Painful Reality for More Women
Kidney stones are becoming a painful reality for more people. In a recent survey, nearly twice as many people reported having one, compared with the results of a similar 1994 survey. Women may be especially feeling the uptick.
COPD: No Longer a Man’s Disease
Wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing. Do these symptoms sound like asthma? They can actually be the warning signs of a much deadlier lung condition: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. Once considered a man’s disease, COPD is now a serious health burden for women.
Postpartum Depression May Be More Common Than Thought
Many women find the few weeks following birth rife with emotions—otherwise known as the baby blues. For some, these feelings can plummet into postpartum depression, a condition that may be more common than previously thought.
Treating UTIs: Antibiotics May Not Be Necessary
Many women are familiar with the unpleasant signs of a urinary tract infection, or UTI. A constant urge to go. A burning sensation when using the bathroom. These symptoms and others often send women to their doctor for treatment. The usual remedy: antibiotics-although a recent study suggests they may not always be needed.
Mothers-To-Be Need to Be Smart About Medicine
A mother and her unborn child share a vital bond. The fetus absorbs nutrients from its mother. In this same way, it can also be exposed to harmful substances-some of which you may be storing in your medicine cabinet. Not all medications are safe to use while pregnant. And finding reliable information about them isn't always easy.
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