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Last update: 2013-06-27

Smokeless and sickness

2013-06-27 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates some middle and high school students are setting themselves up for an aggressive tobacco-related cancer without smoking. …

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Living vegetarian

2013-06-26 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates vegetarians have a somewhat lower risk of death. At Loma Linda University, which is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist church, Michael Orlich and colleagues looked at data on about 73,000 U.S. Adventists, including many vegetarians.…

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Teens texting and driving

2013-06-25 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Teens love to text. Teens love to drive. The problem is that many teens love to text while they drive. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emily Olsen saw this in national survey data from 2011: “Nearly half of all U.S. high school students of driving age engaged in texting while driving during the 30 days before the survey.”…

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Summer teen drinking

2013-06-24 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Teenagers are most likely to take their first drink in the summer. But parents can help to steer them away from it by talking with them, so everyone agrees on ground rules. At HHS’ Administration for Children and Families, Dr. George Askew advises this approach, for younger teens: …

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The myfamily app

2013-06-23 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Imagine having a personal health assistant for your family in the palm of your hand. The new myfamily application gets you there, allowing you to set and customize health alerts and reminders. The app was developed out of an HHS challenge by the team at healthfinder.gov.…

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Teens in the Stroke Belt

2013-06-20 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A wide swath of the Southeast leads the nation in stroke deaths. It’s called the Stroke Belt. And a study has picked up the higher risk from living in the Stroke Belt as a teenager. Researcher Virginia Howard of the University of Alabama at Birmingham saw this in data from a national sample of 24,500 people.…

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The self-medicating drinker

2013-06-19 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

This isn’t social drinking. This is using alcohol as though it were a medication – for instance, to ease feelings of depression. At the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Rosa Crum looked at national survey data on people who reported drinking like this in 2001 and 2002.…

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The hurricane getaway plan

2013-06-18 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Having a getaway plan can save your life, and during hurricane season, you should be ready to evacuate. Have a supply of water and nonperishable food. Have cash, in case banks and ATMs aren’t available. Have a backup supply of meds, and a copy of your prescriptions. Learn the best evacuation routes from places you and your family go every day. …

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What you can’t see about what you see

2013-06-17 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Eye problems don’t always give you a heads-up. Dr. Jinan Saaddine of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says they can affect people of any age and might not have symptoms until late in the condition. Older people have a greater chance of developing eye disease and other vision problems. So Dr. Saaddine says people ages 65 or older should have their eyes checked every two years or as recommended by their eye doctor.…

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Heart facts on bingeing

2013-06-16 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates college-age binge drinkers may be raising their risks of cardiovascular disease later in life. Shane Phillips of the University of Illinois at Chicago looked for early signs by comparing 19 binge drinkers to 17 nondrinkers. …

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Man up

2013-06-13 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Minority men face certain health challenges. Black men have a high risk of dying from heart disease. Latino men are diagnosed with AIDS three times as often as white men. But men can do things that can protect their health. Most health plans cover recommended preventive services like screenings at no cost under the health care law.…

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Confused memories

2013-06-12 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Survey data from 21 states find that about 1 in 8 people age 60 and older report some amount of confusion or memory loss. The study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at people who reported this happening more or getting worse over the previous 12 months.…

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Don’t smoke that here

2013-06-11 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

It used to be that you could light a cigarette just about anywhere. Not so anymore, because more people understand that smoking sickens and kills people – even when it’s secondhand.…

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Coffee with bile

2013-06-10 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

The liver disease primary sclerosing cholangitis, or PSC, is rare, but treatment can be difficult and PSC can lead to liver failure and cancer. So researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, have been looking at ways to reduce the risk that people would get this disease, which affects the liver’s bile ducts. And researcher Craig Lammert suspects one might be found in coffee…

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Kids in the pool

2013-06-09 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

People are not the only creatures in a swimming pool. Swimmers might introduce germs into the water, too. Chlorine and other disinfectants kill most germs within minutes, not instantly. If you swallow pool water, you risk swallowing germs that can cause waterborne diseases.…

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Getting enough exercise?

2013-06-06 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

An analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that most Americans don’t get enough physical activity. …

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Working off smoking

2013-06-05 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Being more physically active may help teens become less active smokers. Researchers saw this in a study of 233 teenage smokers who reported little physical activity. Kimberly Horn of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services says teens who were more physically active did better at cutting back or quitting. And she says it doesn’t have to be intense activity:…

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Smoking, suffering and dying

2013-06-04 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Smoking can mean suffering and dying. Dr. Tim McAfee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention backs it up with numbers – at least 1 in 3 smokers will die as a result. And for every person who dies, 20 more live with a serious smoking-related illness.…

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Higher numbers on high blood pressure

2013-06-03 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Research indicates more Americans know they have high blood pressure. Survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 26 percent reported high blood pressure in 2005, 28 percent in 2009.…

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Pain, exercise and fibromyalgia

2013-06-02 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

People with fibromyalgia have pain in muscles, joints and tendons. But a study indicates exercise might help.…

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The taste of beer

2013-05-30 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Just a taste of beer can affect a person’s brain, according to a study at Indiana University School of Medicine.  Researcher David Kareken looked at brain imaging data on 49 men who got a taste of beer – too little for the alcohol to create a high -- and checked for evidence of the reward-related brain chemical dopamine.…

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Keeping pets at home

2013-05-29 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Don’t take your eyes off the road. Easier said than done, sometimes, with elements of distracted driving – anything that can limit your concentration from the task at hand.  Research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham finds that drivers age 70 and older who drove with their pets all the time had double the rate of collisions compared with those who never drove with pets.…

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Unhooking from the hookah

2013-05-28 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Myth – smoking hookah is a safe alternative to cigarettes. Smoking hookah may in some ways actually be worse. A study at the University of California, San Francisco compared the effects of hookah to cigarette smoking.…

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Sleep less, weigh more

2013-05-27 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates sleep might be a good weight control plan for teens. Researcher Jonathan Mitchell of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania saw this in data on more than 1,000 Philadelphia-area teens from their freshman through senior years in high school.…

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Vitamin D and fibroids

2013-05-26 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Vitamin D is good for bones, and there are indications it can help women reduce the risk of fibroids, which are painful and can cause bleeding in the uterus. Researcher Donna Baird of the National Institutes of Health saw that in data on about 1,000 women in the Washington, D.C., area from 1996 to 1999.…

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Teens in profile

2013-05-23 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Teenage girls may want to take a look in the virtual mirror. Your profile picture, bio, and interests, might say more about you than you want. A study looked at the social media behaviors of girls ages 14 to 17; how they presented themselves, and they’re likelihood to interact with people they met online.…

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Kids’ kidneys and smoke

2013-05-22 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Smoking can damage adults’ kidneys – and a study of teens finds even secondhand smoke can damage theirs. At Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Ana Navas-Acien analyzed data on about 7,500 12- to 17-year-olds. She looked at whether they said they smoked, and at blood chemicals that indicated how much tobacco they had been exposed to – theirs or second-hand. And she looked at their kidney function.…

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Fourteen preventable diseases

2013-05-21 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Kids need lots of things, and Dr. Yabo Beysolow of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can think of some that parents can arrange through their child’s health care provider. She says children can receive protection against 14 diseases before they are 2 years old, by vaccination.…

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Smoking away teeth

2013-05-20 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Smoking can do more than make your teeth yellow. A study indicates smoking can make teeth go away. Researcher Xiaodan Mai of the University at Buffalo in New York found this in data on about 1,100 postmenopausal women. She compared periodontal disease or gum disease with caries or tooth decay as reasons for tooth loss.…

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It’s Only Natural

2013-05-19 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Pediatricians recommend that moms continue breastfeeding for at least one year, and that families wait until their babies are six months old to start giving solid foods.”…

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No play TBI

2013-05-16 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

If you watch sports, you’ve probably heard about TBIs – traumatic brain injuries, like concussions.…

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What help from soy supplements

2013-05-15 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates soy supplements don’t make life feel appreciably better for postmenopausal women. At Oregon Health and Science University, researcher Paula Amato was checking indications in some smaller studies that soy supplements improve quality of life – notably, things such as reducing hot flashes.…

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Holding your liquor holds you at risk

2013-05-14 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

So you can hold your liquor? You may think that puts you at less risk, but that’s not true. Yes, you may experience fewer side effects – the wrenching blackouts and hangovers.…

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Mental illness and weight loss

2013-05-13 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates people with serious mental illness can lose weight – with help.…

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Leading by example

2013-05-12 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Women often put the needs of their family first.  As a result, their own health can take a back seat. Women can do some things to promote healthy habits for themselves and for their family.…

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Swallowing sadness

2013-05-09 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Maybe curling up on the couch with a pint of ice cream isn’t the best way to feel better after a bad day. Researchers can cite cases in which women felt worse after unhealthy eating.…

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Exercise and depression

2013-05-08 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Exercise can reduce C-reactive protein, or CRP, a marker of inflammation. Higher levels of CRP can signal a higher risk of heart disease and other conditions like type 2 diabetes. But one study indicates people with symptoms of depression don’t reduce CRP through exercise.…

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The drink conversation

2013-05-07 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Researchers say that, when parents talk to their kids about drinking, in the summer before the kids go to college, some kids won’t drink after they arrive, and those who do drink may drink less.…

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Rolling back pre-diabetes

2013-05-06 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A major factor for the most common form of diabetes, type 2, is being overweight or obese. And doing something about this could be especially important for people with pre-diabetes, where blood sugar levels are high but not so high that they signal the person has diabetes.…

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Quit, and help others

2013-05-05 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

If you’re thinking about quitting smoking, there are some steps you can take to get there. Just ask Tiffany. She did it. Here’s how.…

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Talking risky behavior

2013-05-02 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

What’s your teen doing online? What are their privacy settings? The more parents know and the more they talk to their children about it, the better. A study looking at the behavior of teenage girls online showed that their profile says a lot about them.…

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What cancer survivors can teach

2013-05-01 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Being physically active is hard for a lot of us – and may be harder for people who had cancer treatment. But a study of survivors of endometrial cancer says building self-efficacy – your idea that you can succeed – helps to create success.…

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Teen health, adult risk

2013-04-30 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Managing your heart health can be done in the palm of your hand. Just ask the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation. It developed an app as part of a challenge from the Million Hearts initiative. Million Hearts aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.…

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Heart Health Mobile

2013-04-29 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Managing your heart health can be done in the palm of your hand. Just ask the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation. It developed an app as part of a challenge from the Million Hearts initiative. Million Hearts aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.…

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Bad to bone

2013-04-28 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Women who smoke have weaker bones than women who don’t. And a study indicates that’s also the case for teenage girls, who may be setting themselves up for weaker bones as they get old.…

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Warding off cancer, the heart-healthy way

2013-04-25 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

“Life’s Simple 7” is what the American Heart Association calls them – a handful of things we can do to lower our risk of heart disease. And a researcher at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago says the rules can do more. Laura Rasmussen-Torvik looked at 20 years of data on more than 13,000 people:…

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Watching too closely

2013-04-24 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Teens who pay attention to TV may gain something they don’t want – extra weight. Researchers who looked at teen attentiveness to TV programs say teens who were more attentive had higher body mass indexes, or BMIs – how much they weighed, compared with their height.…

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Salted toddler food

2013-04-23 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Vaccinations aren’t just for kids. Adults need to get immunized, too, and a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says many adults miss a lot of protection against disease.…

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A tip to quit

2013-04-22 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Bill used to smoke. He’s had diabetes since he was a kid. At 37, smoking cigarettes caught up with him. His kidneys began to fail, and he began to have trouble breathing. By 40, Bill’s life had changed forever.…

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Carry your health in your hand

2013-04-21 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Your health is going digital. Health applications on the go are becoming more available. The HHS initiative, Million Hearts, recently challenged developers to create an app that helps people manage their heart health.…

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Kids watching and playing

2013-04-18 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Kids could be better off if they spent little time sitting in front of screens and lots of time being physically active.…

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Adult protection

2013-04-17 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Vaccinations aren’t just for kids. Adults need to get immunized, too, and a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says many adults miss a lot of protection against disease.…

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What are you looking at?

2013-04-16 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Text while you drive and you could be writing your own obituary. …

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Early dating, worse results

2013-04-15 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Dating in middle school may be not so much fun in the long run. …

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What secondhand can do

2013-04-14 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Nathan has never smoked. He’s among the many who never have and never will, but who are still suffering the consequences of tobacco. …

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Most moms breastfeed

2013-04-11 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

More new mothers are breastfeeding. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at 10 years of data.…

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Bullied kids, troubled adults

2013-04-10 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates that the effects of bullying linger into adulthood. Researchers saw this in 20 years of data on about 1,400 people who were followed into their mid-20s.…

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Tips and tragedy

2013-04-09 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Smoking kills, and many of us realize that. We might not realize that smoking also maims and disfigures. And it can do all that even to people who don’t smoke but who inhale secondhand smoke from people who do.…

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Seniors home exercise

2013-04-08 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Working out with a safe and sensible exercise DVD can do a senior good. At the University of Illinois, Edward McAuley tested a DVD program that focused on flexibility, toning and balance.…

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A little weight, a lot of gain

2013-04-07 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Smokers gain a little weight when they quit, but they gain a lot more in health. A study checked whether the extra weight could raise the risk of heart disease.…

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Happily ever older

2013-04-04 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Is there such a thing as happily ever after? Well, research indicates people generally become happier and more pleased with their lives as they age. Angelina Sutin of the Florida State University College of Medicine saw that in two large national surveys.…

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Protect yourself, protect others

2013-04-03 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Be a friend and get vaccinated. How is that friendly? Well, when you get vaccinated, you’re protecting others from disease. Not just kids. Adults need vaccines too.…

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The pregnant foot

2013-04-02 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Pregnancy may permanently change a woman’s feet. At the University of Iowa, Researcher Neil Segal looked at data on the feet of 49 women before pregnancy and again five months after childbirth. He found that, for up to 70 percent of the women, their feet got bigger.…

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What’s the beef?

2013-04-01 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says meat and poultry account for nearly a quarter of all foodborne illnesses. Beef, what some may think is a common cause of foodborne illness, accounted for only a slice of that. …

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Watching what the kids watch

2013-03-31 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Preschoolers can learn by watching, and a study indicates that the media their parents let them watch can influence whether they’re aggressive or cooperative. …

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More moms breastfeeding

2013-03-28 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more mothers are breastfeeding. The CDC found an increase of more than 4 percentage points from 2000 to 2008 in mothers who started breastfeeding. And the proportion still breastfeeding at six months rose almost 10 percentage points, to about 45 percent.…

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Thigh fat and walking

2013-03-27 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Researchers think they have an early indication of when otherwise healthy older adults are about to lose some of their ability to get around, and it’s thigh fat.…

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Mindfully fighting inflammation

2013-03-26 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates mindfulness meditation might benefit people with chronic inflammatory diseases by reducing the level of inflammation.…

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Whole grain goodness?

2013-03-25 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Whole grains have more fiber, and have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. But there are several whole grain stamps and labels on foods with whole grains and other ingredients, so choosing can be a bother.…

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Solve the Outbreak

2013-03-24 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Become a disease detective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new iPad app, “Solve the Outbreak,” let’s you do just that. Users must figure out what disease they are dealing with and how an outbreak started. First, a user is given clues.…

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A little less sodium a lot of lives

2013-03-20 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Researchers looking at three computer models have figured out what would happen if we all started to use a little less sodium – commonly, salt – in our food. At the University of California, San Francisco, Pamela Coxson had the computer models assume we could work our way, a bit at a time, to the dietary equivalent of a half teaspoon less salt a day over 10 years:…

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Fussy babies’ TV time

2013-03-19 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

The TV is probably America’s busiest babysitter, and some babies get more TV time than others. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, researcher Amanda Thompson looked at which babies those were. She examined data on 217 mothers and babies, and came away with three areas that raised likelihood of more TV time:…

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Middle-aged aerobics and older brains

2013-03-18 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates that people who stay aerobically fit in middle age might be less likely to develop dementia later. At the Cooper Institute in Dallas, researchers saw this in 24 years of data on about 20,000 people…

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Apps for health

2013-03-17 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Become a disease detective with ``Solve the Outbreak.’’ Get an idea of how much of you is fat or muscle with a body mass index calculator.  Track flu-like activity with ``FluView.’’ These are all apps, developed at HHS.…

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People, pets and diseases

2013-03-14 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Pets and people can share more than love. They can share diseases. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researcher Carol Rubin looked at cases involving dogs and cats.…

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Less-angry preschoolers

2013-03-13 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates that kids who can use words better as toddlers are more likely to be able to control anger when they’re preschoolers. At Penn State, researcher Pamela Cole saw this in data on 120 kids who were followed from 18 months to 48 months of age.…

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One in 6 sick

2013-03-12 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Eat and be well? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that, each year, 1 in 6 of us gets sick from food, largely due to improper handling and cooking of ingredients.…

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Not your common cold

2013-03-11 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

The symptoms are similar to that of the common cold. Respiratory syncytial virus, known as RSV, can include fever, lack of appetite, runny nose, and coughing. You can get RSV at any age and more than once.…

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Why the supplement?

2013-03-10 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

We take dietary supplements, in the form of pills, gummies, and more, primarily on the belief they will improve our overall health. That’s what data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows, examining who uses supplements and why. But do they really improve our overall health? They may, in addition to other healthy habits, but more scientific evidence is needed to fully support that.…

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What do you know about losing weight?

2013-03-07 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Researchers say a lot of the things people think they know about losing weight are wrong. And the scientists have a list of seven myths to watch for. …

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18, 21, binge

2013-03-06 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates people who can start to drink younger are more likely to turn out to be binge drinkers. At Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Andrew Plunk saw this in national survey data. He compared people who grew up in states where it was legal to drink at 18 with people from states where the age was 21. …

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Testing beats cancer

2013-03-05 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Cervical cancer has been declining, and testing is part of the reason. Screening and follow up treatment can prevent the disease or find it early. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researcher Meg Watson:…

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What’s your supplement?

2013-03-04 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Dietary supplements are used widely by U.S. adults, and for multiple reasons. Evidence has not proven their true effectiveness, but there are recommendations. For instance, women who might become pregnant should get at least 400 micrograms of folic acid per day. …

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Health scams

2013-03-03 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

This’ll cure you? Or make you lose weight? …

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Folic acid and autism

2013-02-28 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates that women who take folic acid from four weeks before becoming pregnant to eight weeks after have a lower risk of having a child with autism. The finding was in data on women and children in Norway. At the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, researcher Pal Suren: …

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The heart and the brain

2013-02-27 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Your heart and your brain work together. Research from the Mayo Clinic shows that having heart disease can increase your risk of cognitive impairment. The study included more than 1,450 people ages 70 and older. Participants with heart disease, especially women, had a higher risk of experiencing declined cognitive function. …

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Prostate cancer with that?

2013-02-26 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study finds that men who ate more fried foods – specifically french fries, fried chicken or fish, and doughnuts – had a higher risk of prostate cancer. …

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The class pet

2013-02-25 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

The right animal can be fun and educational in a childcare center. But the wrong animal can make kids sick. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, epidemiologist Dr. Neil Vora has some examples of risky pets. He says reptiles such as turtles, lizards and snakes – and amphibians such as frogs and salamanders – commonly carry germs called Salmonella.…

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Young and on the roads

2013-02-24 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Young drivers are still a high-risk group for highway tragedy. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says traffic death rates among 15- to 24-year-olds have generally gone down from 1999 to 2011. For instance, death rates for 15- to 19-year-olds fell by about half. …

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Beating birth defects before pregnancy

2013-02-21 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Unhealthy habits may cause birth defects in babies during the first two months of pregnancy, which is often before a woman realizes she’s pregnant. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Stuart Shapira says it’s why healthy living is so important to women who could become pregnant. He says good health habits can reduce the risk of some birth defects.…

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Southern-cooked stroke

2013-02-20 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study says that people who eat more Southern cooking have a higher risk of stroke. At the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Suzanne Judd saw it in national survey and medical examination data on what people ate:…

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Blueberries and strawberries

2013-02-19 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Researchers think blueberries and strawberries may be good for the heart. They saw this in 18 years of data on 93,600 U.S. women ages 25 to 42. Women who had three or more servings a week had a one-third lower risk of heart attack.…

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The tell-tale heart risk

2013-02-18 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Know the risks. If you are inactive, or have high blood pressure, or if you smoke, your risk for heart disease increases. If you have high cholesterol or diabetes, your risk for heart disease increases. On the other hand, if you know these facts, you can act now.…

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Slimming aerobically

2013-02-17 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study that compared vigorous aerobic exercise with resistance exercise like you might do on weight machines found that people who did the aerobics did better at weight loss and fat loss…

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Checking melanoma apps

2013-02-14 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

The skin cancer melanoma is commonly treatable if caught early and commonly deadly if not, so early diagnosis is crucial. Some apps claim to spot melanoma from a smartphone camera picture. So researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center tested four apps, using pictures of melanomas. …

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Losing hearing and thinking

2013-02-13 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study links hearing loss in older people with reduced ability to think and remember things. Researchers base this on a look at six years of data on about 2,000 people with an average of 77. At the Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health, researcher Frank Lin: …

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Not immune from loneliness

2013-02-12 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates that feeling lonely may be bad for a person’s immune system. At Ohio State University, Lisa Jaremka and Janice Kiecolt-Glaser looked at whether loneliness created the kind of chronic stress that can affect the immune system. …

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The bullying environment

2013-02-11 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Bullying can happen anywhere. It can happen in person, online, or behind your back. But there are some groups that are at higher risk. …

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A few minutes a meal

2013-02-10 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Researchers say families who spend a bit longer together at the dinner table tend to have kids with a bit better weight. Barbara Fiese of the University of Illinois saw it in data on low-income families. …

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Not-so-healthy America

2013-02-07 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

An international scorecard on health finds America at or near the bottom. Experts with the National Academy of Sciences looked at nine key health topics in 16 high-income nations.…

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Getting your decade back

2013-02-06 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Research indicates that people who quit smoking before age 40 can get back almost all of the lifespan that statistics say they can expect to lose if they keep smoking.…

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Your eye to your brain

2013-02-05 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage your optic nerve, which transmits visual information from your eye to your brain. When the optic nerve is damaged, vision problems can occur. …

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Promoting long-term recovery

2013-02-04 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A 10-year study indicates that Alcoholics Anonymous participants who help others in AA are more likely to stay sober long term.…

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Listen to your heart

2013-02-03 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Heart disease has red flags associated with it that you need to pay attention to. Some common symptoms of heart disease include shortness of breath, nausea, back pain, and overwhelming fatigue.…

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Active families, active kids

2013-01-31 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Active families, active kids…

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Resolution reset time

2013-01-30 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Resolution reset time…

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Stress and the heart

2013-01-29 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Stress and the heart…

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Staying fit together

2013-01-28 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

When the weather outside is frightful, being active ain’t so delightful. It just takes motivation. Stay active with a buddy during the winter months and early spring. A partner can keep you accountable, and make activities more fun. And being active during winter doesn’t mean you have to go outdoors, or use equipment.…

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Vitamin D and the knee

2013-01-27 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A better look at whether vitamin D supplements can help people deal with osteoarthritis finds the vitamin doesn’t seem to make a difference.…

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Using steroids, losing memory

2013-01-24 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

So where did you leave the steroids? For long-term users of these muscle-building drugs, this could be a real question. A lab study finds they may lose some ability to remember shapes, such as faces, and where things are, such as directions and objects in locations.…

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Pricing flu risk

2013-01-23 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates people think they face more flu risk if the price of a vaccination is lower.…

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An eye on independence

2013-01-22 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Take a look ahead with your eye health. Preventing vision loss from glaucoma, a group of diseases that can cause problems with vision can start now.…

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Women and girls bingeing

2013-01-21 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Binge drinking is not just a guy problem. A look at national survey data finds women also drink like this. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dafna Kanny:…

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Expectant stress

2012-12-30 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Working on the relationship is even more important when a baby is on the way. And a study of stress in expectant parents indicates men and women react differently to stress. …

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Losing sight

2012-12-27 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study finds more Americans of working age are losing ability to see. David Friedman of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine compared national health examination data from 1999 to 2002 with data from 2005 to 2008:…

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An ingredient for hangover helper

2012-12-26 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

The only sure way to avoid a hangover is to not drink so much. But a study indicates it’s possible to increase the chance of a hangover when drinking, or to make one worse – by smoking. Brown University researcher Damaris Rohsenow found this when looking at eight weeks of Web survey data from 113 college students.…

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What’s appropriate

2012-12-25 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Pregnant women should gain weight, but not too much – especially if they were overweight or obese before pregnancy, because the extra weight they gain may linger after pregnancy. So researchers wanted to see what doctors were telling these women about healthy limits on weight gain. They interviewed 24 overweight or obese women.…

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Exercise and living longer

2012-12-24 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates that people who spend more time being physically active spend more time on this earth. At the National Institutes of Health, Steven Moore looked at life expectancy and physical activity in more than 650,000 people.…

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Preparing for the storm

2012-12-23 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

We don’t know when the next big storm is going to hit our neighborhood. But, we can prepare and be ready ahead of time. Put a plan together for you and your family. Have the right supplies ready and available. Food, that is nonperishable and doesn’t need to be cooked, is important.…

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Smoking, drinking and pancreatic cancer

2012-12-20 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates that smoking and drinking can affect the risk of getting pancreatic cancer – and that, the more you smoke or drink, the greater the effect. Researcher Michelle Anderson of the University of Michigan Health System saw that in data on 811 pancreatic cancer patients:…

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Reacting to stress

2012-12-19 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

We all experience stress at some point. There are interpersonal stressors, like arguments. There are overloads. I have too much to do and no time! And there are network stressors that happen around you. Researchers reviewed the National Study of Daily Experiences to see how people react to stress, and how that affected long-term health.…

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Exercise and depression

2012-12-18 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Exercise may help reduce depression for those with heart failure. Researchers at Duke University gave heart failure patients a questionnaire, measuring depressive symptoms like sadness, irritability, and disturbed sleep. They were then randomly assigned into one of two groups for usual care, and usual care with an exercise routine.…

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Flu season is here

2012-12-17 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

It’s not the season of joy, for sure, but we are now in the season of flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks the numbers. …

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A real holiday season

2012-12-16 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

There’s a gap between what the holidays should be and what they can be -- the real holidays we live, as opposed to the expectation that we carry in our minds. And if we can’t do in our real holidays what we’ve come to believe we should do, what then?…

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Hearts and multivitamins

2012-12-13 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Taking a multivitamin do es not appear to have a role in preventing cardiovascular disease. A clinical trial lasting about11 years on nearly 15,000 male doctors who were 50 years of age or older tested whether multivitamin use could lower the risk of heart disease, stroke and death from cardiovascular causes.…

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Frailty and food

2012-12-12 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates that people who are frail are five times more likely than those who are not frail to report not having enough to eat.…

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Diabetes, 24-7

2012-12-11 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

You don’t get days off from diabetes. It has to be managed constantly, and not just by monitoring your blood sugar and taking medication appropriately. At the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Director Griffin Rodgers says a lot of goal-setting is involved.  He says there are goals about what you can eat – and, more importantly, can’t – whether you are controlling your weight, and whether you are being physically active.…

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Black risk of heart death

2012-12-10 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Researchers say black men and women have double whites’ risk of dying of coronary heart disease, which is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart.…

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Who’s at risk for flu?

2012-12-09 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

The flu vaccine is your best defense against the seasonal flu. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine, but the vaccine is especially important for people who are at high risk of complications. …

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The leading cause

2012-12-06 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Suicide ranked as the second-leading cause of injury death in 2000, behind unintentional motor vehicle traffic crashes. However, in 2009, it surpassed traffic crashes to become the leading cause.…

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Rating the red wine supplement

2012-12-05 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

The red wine ingredient resveratrol has had a lot of good press in recent years – research indications that it can improve metabolism and reduce problems with metabolic disorders such as diabetes. But the research has been done on people with those conditions. So at Washington University in St. Louis, Samuel Klein tried it on healthy people.…

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Protecting against pertussis

2012-12-04 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Kids who are vaccinated against pertussis, or whooping cough, are a lot less likely to get sick – which is a good reason to be vaccinated.  It’s part of the five-shot series that also protects against tetanus and diphtheria.…

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Who gets breast cancer

2012-12-03 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Most women who have breast cancer don’t know it. But mammography can pick up X-ray signs of the disease before there are symptoms such as the lump in the breast. And the earlier the diagnosis, the better the odds of survival.…

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Be Tobacco Free

2012-12-02 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Each day in the United States, approximately 3,800 young people under the age of 18 smoke their first cigarette. An estimated 1,000 youth in that age group become daily cigarette smokers.…

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Twenty seconds to clean

2012-11-29 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

We all trade germs. And germs lead to illnesses like colds and pneumonia. Washing your hands can help.…

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Surveying a woman’s risk

2012-11-28 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A simple checklist may help women learn if they are at risk of ovarian cancer. Researchers surveyed 1,200 women, ages 40 and older, at a primary care clinic.…

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Counting the calories

2012-11-27 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Think about the last meal you had at a fast food restaurant. How many calories do you think it was? Researchers asked parents of school-aged children the same question.…

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Surviving the holidays

2012-11-26 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

During the holidays, the fun goes on and the limits go off – which can explain why the weight goes up. The rest of the year, we don’t usually eat and drink so much, and spend quite so much time partying and shopping, which can eat into time for exercising.…

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After “The Biggest Loser”

2012-11-25 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

To most of us, “The Biggest Loser” is a TV show. To Kevin Hall, it’s also a research project.…

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Teens and suicide

2012-11-22 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Suicide is a serious risk for teens. A teen’s social environment can have a strong effect on whether or not they experience suicidal thoughts.…

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Forever free

2012-11-21 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Many pregnant women quit smoking because they know it’s bad for the baby. But most resume smoking after giving birth, perhaps not realizing that just being around smoke can harm their baby’s health.…

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Over-salted children

2012-11-20 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Like Mom and Dad, kids may wind up with high blood pressure because of what they eat. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at data on sodium – such as in salt – for about 6,200 8- to 18-year-olds.…

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Younger strokes

2012-11-19 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Strokes are more common among older people, but researchers are finding that the stroke age is growing younger. …

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Parents, kids and bullying

2012-11-18 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Researchers say that how parents and kids get along at home can influence whether the child will be a bully outside the home. At the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Rashmi Shetgiri looked at national survey data from 2007 on about 45,000 young people.…

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Supplementing teens

2012-11-15 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Burgers, pizza and soda are not a wholesome diet, although lots of teens might wish it. Fruits and vegetables, fish and dairy products are part of a wholesome diet, but lots of teens don’t like them. So researchers have been looking at ways to make up at least part of what’s missing, by vitamin and mineral supplements.…

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Heading off arthritis

2012-11-14 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

People can reduce their risk of the most common form of arthritis – and can reduce the risk that the condition will get worse if they have it. That form is osteoarthritis, where the cartilage at the ends of bones breaks down, so the bones can rub against each other.…

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Good pressure

2012-11-13 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Millions of people wear contact lenses. They’re effective and practical but require proper care to avoid eye infections. Follow the instructions of your eye doctor and the companies who make your lenses and lens products whenever you’re cleaning, storing, and using them. Replace your lens case every three months.…

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Hearts, personally

2012-11-12 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Women are still having heart attacks, although the proportion of women who have them has been going down. At the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Nakela Cook says many women don’t think about a heart attack as something that could happen to them.…

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A Clean Lens

2012-11-11 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Millions of people wear contact lenses. They’re effective and practical but require proper care to avoid eye infections. Follow the instructions of your eye doctor and the companies who make your lenses and lens products whenever you’re cleaning, storing, and using them. Replace your lens case every three months.…

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Teen drinking and driving

2012-11-08 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Teens are getting better about driving sober, but teen drinking and driving is still a deadly risk on the roads. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed national data. …

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Preteens, teens and vaccines

2012-11-07 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Christina Dorell says teens and preteens should get Tdap, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis or whooping cough – and a vaccine that protects against meningococcal meningitis.  She also says teens – boys and girls – should get the HPV vaccine, which protects against human papilloma virus, which can cause some forms of cancer, notably cervical cancer.…

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Larger numbers of the very large

2012-11-06 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Researchers report a striking increase in the proportion of Americans who are grossly obese. At the RAND Corporation, Roland Sturm reviewed national survey data from 2000 to 2010, and noted a longer-term trend:…

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Kids At Risk

2012-11-05 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for children in America. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researcher Nagesh Borse says unintentional injuries account for more than 12,000 children’s deaths a year.…

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Better cholesterol

2012-11-04 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

This is not a reason to celebrate with a half-pound cheeseburger, but Americans can be proud that we’re doing better on controlling our cholesterol levels. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed national survey data from 1988 to 2010.…

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Twenty, 40, fit and fat

2012-11-01 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Researchers say 20 minutes of activity each day can make overweight, previously inactive kids more fit and less fat – including dangerous fat around their internal organs  – and lower their  diabetes risk.  Forty minutes will burn even more fat.…

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Smoking friends

2012-10-31 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

If popularity is the number of friends a kid has, researchers say kids with more friends are more likely to smoke. That’s actually worse for the popular kids because it sets them up for addiction, disease and death. But researcher Thomas Valente of the University of Southern California saw it in survey data on 1,950 ninth and 10th graders in Southern California.…

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More tanning bed cancers

2012-10-30 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Tanning beds can raise your risk of the deadly skin cancer, melanoma – and, researchers now say, your risk of other forms of skin cancer – not as often deadly, but damaging to your looks.…

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Teen quitters

2012-10-29 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

It can be tough to be a teen quitter, and one study indicates how hard it can be to give up cigarettes. At Brown University, researcher Cinnamon Bidwell measured how 47 teen smokers felt – notably how strong their tobacco cravings were – after giving up cigarettes almost 24 hours. Bidwell says the teens’ poor moods and strong cravings were like those of long-term adult smokers, even though the teens were smokers for far less time:…

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Genetics and teen obesity

2012-10-28 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Is it possible we can be born into obesity? Not completely, but genetics can play a role.  But new research shows that those at risk of obesity because of genetics and hereditary factors can reduce that underlying risk with exercise.…

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Food for your kid’s thoughts

2012-10-25 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Food for your kid’s thoughts…

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Mature games, immature driving

2012-10-24 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Mature games, immature driving…

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What the label says

2012-10-23 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

What the label says…

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To D or not to D

2012-10-22 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

To D or not to D…

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Lifting away type 2 diabetes

2012-10-21 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Lifting away type 2 diabetes…

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Breast cancer and weight

2012-10-18 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates many breast cancer patients have a higher risk of the cancer coming back, and of dying, if they are overweight or obese. At Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, Dr. Joseph Sparano saw that in data on women in a multicenter study of breast cancer.…

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Get ready, get help, get real

2012-10-17 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Any smoker can quit. It can be tough, but it’s doable.  Dr. Thomas Frieden is the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Get ready by setting a quit date, getting rid of all cigarettes and ash trays in your environment, not being around people who smoke for a few days, and once you quit, don’t smoke, not even a puff.”…

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Noroviruses get around

2012-10-16 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Noroviruses are tiny, but they’re one of America’s busiest bugs. Researcher Aron Hall of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at foodborne outbreaks in the United States.…

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Moms’ lives, kids’ teeth

2012-10-15 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

There may be more to keeping a kid’s teeth healthy than dental insurance. Researchers say mothers with more than a high school education, more knowledge of eating right, and good emotional health had kids with better dental health.…

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Flu shots for safer pregnancies

2012-10-14 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Pregnant women have special risks in flu season. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Denise Jamieson says influenza can increase the risk of miscarriage, and increase the risk that the baby may be born too early or too small.…

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Better at breastfeeding

2012-10-11 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Breastfeeding is healthier than formula for mother and baby, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more mothers are breastfeeding. Lawrence Grummer-Strawn tells what’s in the agency’s latest breastfeeding report card:…

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Breast cancer and sleep

2012-10-10 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study links a lack of sleep with more aggressive breast cancer. At University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Cheryl Thompson saw that in data on 101 women with breast cancer, who were asked about their average sleep hours.…

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Not spreading the flu

2012-10-09 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Nobody plans to spread the flu, but lots of us do anyway. One reason is that people are infectious literally before they know it. At the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Center – its research hospital – infectious disease specialist Tara Palmore tells how easy it is, even if you’re otherwise healthy: …

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Which fat

2012-10-08 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

It may not be just fat that raises the risk of diabetes; it may be which fat. At the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, researchers looked at about seven years of data on 732 obese people. The researchers compared visceral fat – the kind around organs – with other fat that creates, for instance, potbellies.…

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Checking cholesterol

2012-10-07 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

More Americans are getting their cholesterol checked, which is good, because the numbers can often be bad. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed national survey data. They say 76 percent of people reported in 2009 being screened for high cholesterol within the past five years, compared with 73 percent in 2005.…

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Breast cancer and family history

2012-10-04 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Certain women are at a greater risk for breast cancer because of their family tree. Knowing your family history can help you understand that risk, and manage it. …

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Kids, sports, and weight

2012-10-03 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Kids, who play a sport or more than just one, may be scaling up better in health, than those kids sitting in the stands. Researchers at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire surveyed over 1,700 adolescents, to see how different forms of physical activity influenced their risk of being overweight or obese.…

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Young cholesterol

2012-10-02 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Not just middle aged adults have cholesterol problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says almost 1 in 10 children and teen-agers also have cholesterol problems. And higher cholesterol levels put them on a track that could lead to heart disease as adults. …

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Obese youths’ gallstones

2012-10-01 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Young people should only rarely have gallstones. But doctors are treating more teens for the buildup of the hardened cholesterol-laden lumps in the gallbladder. And a researcher says the risk of gallstones was higher in obese young people. …

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Changing dangers

2012-09-30 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports huge jumps in use of pipe tobacco and cigars that are like cigarettes, just about offsetting a drop in cigarette smoking, from 2000 to 2011.…

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More shots, less chicken pox

2012-09-27 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

More shots, less chicken pox…

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TV and teens’ weight

2012-09-26 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

TV and teens’ weight…

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Mutated smokers

2012-09-25 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Mutated smokers…

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Rotavirus around the world

2012-09-24 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Rotavirus around the world…

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Leading by doing

2012-09-23 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Leading by doing…

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Nurturing the brain

2012-03-13 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

The hippocampus section of our brains is important for memory, learning and stress hormones. New research on 7- to 10-year-olds shows a direct connection between parental nurturing and growth of the hippocampus. Children and parents were videotaped during mildly stressful tasks that required support.…

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Cold and snowy

2012-03-12 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Shoveling snow can be hard work – especially for a weak heart. But studies indicate something more than just doing hard work might be the reason.…

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Vitamin D and stroke

2012-03-11 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates that the more vitamin D you have, the less likely you’ll be to have a stroke. Data from 21,000 people, ages 45 and older, who took a food frequency questionnaire, examined vitamin D and stroke risk.…

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Good eating

2012-03-08 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Nutritionist Janet de Jesus isn’t big on short-term diets. She prefers plans to make long term lifestyle changes.…

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Missing the screen

2012-03-07 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Screening tests can find some kinds of cancer early when treatment is more effective. But a look at national survey data for 2010 indicates a good deal of missed opportunities.…

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Sharp old thoughts

2012-03-06 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Growing old can slow a person down, but not in everything. A study that looked at thinking ability indicates older people can stay as sharp in some areas as younger ones if they push themselves.…

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Big shots

2012-03-05 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Everyone knows about vaccines for children.  But grown-ups need vaccines, too.  At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Carolyn Bridges says vaccinating grown-ups can help adults stay healthy and keep them from infecting others.…

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Sugar-sweetened teens

2012-03-04 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Researchers say teenagers who eat or drink a lot of fructose – which is common as a sweetener in sodas and other processed foods – show signs of problems in their blood that could make things worse for them as grown-ups.…

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The host drinks the most

2012-03-01 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

College parties often involve heavy drinking, and one study finds that sometimes the host drinks the most. Ohio State University researcher Cynthia Buettner saw this in an online survey of close to 3,800 students who had hosted or attended parties over two academic years.…

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Staying afloat

2012-02-29 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Drowning is the second leading cause of injury death among teens and children in the United States. Sixteen years of hospitalization data on children related to drowning shows U.S. rates have been cut in half.…

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Drinking and breast cancer

2011-11-25 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

A study indicates that drinking even a little, if a woman does it regularly, can raise the risk of breast cancer. Researcher Wendy Chen of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston saw it in data on more than 100,000 nurses, from 1980 to 2008: ``Even modest…

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Working on a joint project

2011-11-24 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

When your joints ache with arthritis, it’s hard to think about exercising them. But physical activity, done right, can do joints a lot of good. It helps to preserve the joints’ range of motion, and to strengthen muscles that take pressure off the joints. …

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Does Listeria lurk in your kitchen?

2011-11-23 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

You don’t want Listeria in your home for the holidays—or at any time. These germs can make some people very sick. Education specialist Howard Seltzer at the Food and Drug Administration: “Unlike most bacteria, Listeria can grow in the refrigerator and …

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The benefits of biking

2011-11-22 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Anywhere and everywhere, only 1 percent of Americans bike. But the 1 percent might convince you to put a helmet on and start pedaling. A study used data from 11 major U.S. cities to measure the benefits that riding your bike had versus driving a car, on r…

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Eyes wide open

2011-11-21 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

When you look at how to deal with diabetes, you need to have someone look at your eyes. The blood sugar condition can lead to damage in the tiny blood vessels that feed the eye, and to the retina, which is the light-sensing tissue at the back of the eye. …

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How large, how long, how risky

2011-11-18 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Researchers say that the longer people carry extra weight, and the amount they carry, both figure into the amount of extra risk they have of developing diabetes. Dr. Joyce Lee of the University of Michigan Health System’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital ca…

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Spotting breast cancer early

2011-11-17 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer for women, and the second-most common cause of cancer-related death in women. But if it’s spotted early, the chances of treating it successfully are better. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…

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Risky teen driving

2011-11-16 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

A researcher at the National Institutes of Health has managed to do something that’s hard for even parents to do – check how teenagers really drive. Bruce Simons-Morton outfitted 42 family vehicles with devices that measured things like acceleration, brak…

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Sleeping easy

2011-11-15 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Your bed and your weight scale may have more in common than you think. The study sleep AHEAD observed the effects of a weight loss program on people with sleep apnea. For up to four years, participants attended weekly meetings and group sessions, tracking…

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Smokers’ kids’ sick days

2011-11-14 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Parents who smoke seem to raise their risk of raising sicker kids. At Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Douglas Levy says it shows up in national survey data on the kids’ days away from school: ``Where there was only one resident smoking in the h…

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The burden of melanoma

2011-11-11 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Gery Guy used national data on melanoma deaths, looking at how long people might have lived if not for their melanoma: ``The years of potential life l…

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Risky sleepy teens

2011-11-10 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

National survey data indicate teens who got too little sleep on school nights were more likely to do things that are bad for them in comparison to their peers who got enough sleep. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researcher Lela McKnig…

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Overprescribed, overdosed

2011-11-09 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says an oversupply of prescription painkillers is fueling an epidemic of overdoses. Properly prescribed, these drugs are important for patients. But a lot of the drugs wind up on the streets, through thefts…

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The questionable prostate supplement

2011-11-08 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Can vitamin E supplements reduce men’s risk of prostate cancer? Early studies indicated a reduced risk, but a more in-depth study later found no change in risk. And now, a large study of men who took large doses indicates a risk of something worse.…

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A dose of exercise

2011-11-07 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

People being treated for depression may find exercise can pick up where medication leaves off. A study reviewed the effects of aerobic activity as a second treatment in patients who did not do well on their original anti-depressant medication. About 30 mi…

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Go4Life

2011-11-04 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Not everyone likes to exercise, but we should all do it. Go4Life is a new campaign that encourages older people to incorporate exercise into their everyday lives. Go4Life focuses exercise on four categories; aerobic, strength, balance, and flexibility. D…

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Drinking and thinking

2011-11-03 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Moderate drinking may reduce your risk of dementia; a review of more than 100 studies indicates this is the case in men and women, young and old. Edward Neafsey is at Loyola University in Chicago. “These studies found no significant difference between m…

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Heads-up on concussion

2011-11-02 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Sports strategy is a head game, and it’s fun – but there’s another kind of head game, and it’s dangerous. That’s the risk of concussion. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Lisa McGuire: ``Each year, 200,000 children and adolescents up…

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A check on chickenpox

2011-11-01 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Vaccination has made chickenpox a lot less common now. But at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researcher Jessica Leung says the viral disease is still around, and it can be spread easily. Anyone who hasn’t had chickenpox and isn’t vaccinat…

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Not just the lungs

2011-10-31 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Smoking can lead to other diseases than lung cancer, and bladder cancer is among them. Researcher Neal Freedman of the National Institutes of Health looked at that risk in more than 186,000 women over about 10 years: ``Current-smoking women have four tim…

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Heart to heart

2011-10-28 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. If you’re listening to this with another person, it’s likely that one of you have at least one of the three major risk factors for heart disease and stroke, according to the Center…

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Parents, buckle down; kids, buckle up

2011-10-27 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Child safety is never more important than in the car. But it’s not just about buckling up. The seat has to fit right. Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz is a researcher with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Every time a child rides in a car, they ne…

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Kids, weight and asthma

2011-10-26 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Growing up with excess weight may increase the risk of having asthma as a young adult. Allergy physician Minto Porter of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit saw that in data on more than 800 young people. ``The persistence of obesity between 5 to 6 years of a…

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The scary eyeball

2011-10-25 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Just in time for Halloween: Vampire eyes. Blood red demon eyes. And they’re contact lenses – just for show, not necessarily to correct vision. But at the National Eye Institute, Dr. Rachel Bishop says people should not get even such decorative contacts u…

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Short on vitamin D

2011-10-24 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

A study indicates African-Americans in low-sunlight areas have a particularly high risk of vitamin D deficiency, but even 18 percent of white people in the same areas are deficient. Dr. Adam Murphy of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medici…

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Grieving children

2011-10-21 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

When a parent dies suddenly, a child quite naturally is bereft and grieving. For some children, though, the grief process continues longer than for other children. At the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Dr. Nadine Melhem looked at data on fa…

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Better reasons to exercise

2011-10-20 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Exercise can improve your health, which is a logical reason to do it.  But researchers say exercise marketers may need a better hook to get many people to stay active. At the University of Michigan, Michelle Segar looked at data from 226 women ages 40 to…

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Living, with the healthy four

2011-10-19 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Researchers say that doing a few good lifestyle things can do a lot of good for your lifespan. The scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saw it when they looked at national health survey data and death records…

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Cutting saw palmetto down to size

2011-10-18 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

The herbal supplement saw palmetto has been promoted as a way to deal with an enlarged prostate gland, which can be a problem for men as they grow older. But researchers report no evidence that it works. The researchers looked at data on 369 men ages 45 …

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Drinking stories

2011-10-17 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Social media may reveal a lot about an underage college student’s drinking. Researchers looked at language students used on sites like Facebook to describe their drinking, and at the students’ reports of how much they drank. At the University of Wisconsi…

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Older kids’ shots

2011-10-14 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Vaccinations don’t stop at babyhood. Parents should know that as kids get older, they still need shots and annual preventive health checks. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Christina Dorell says three vaccines are recommended for preteen…

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Pregnancy and stroke

2011-10-13 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

The chance that a woman would have a stroke while she is pregnant is very small, but a study finds it’s changing. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Elena Kuklina looked at hospitalizations between 1994 and 2007:…

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Mom’s flu vaccination gift

2011-10-12 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Moms give a lot to their newborns, and one thing they can give is a measure of protection against flu. Babies under 6 months are too young for flu vaccination.  But women who get their flu vaccine while pregnant pass along the antibody protection to their…

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Renew against the flu

2011-10-11 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Flu season is as regular as fall and winter, but a lot less fun. So as we head into flu season, it’s time to get protected against the flu, by getting vaccinated – even if you got vaccinated last year.…

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Heavier young, sooner dead

2011-10-10 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

For an overweight or obese young adult, getting your weight under control might not be something you want to put off. At the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, June Stevens saw that when she looked at data from 1987 to 2005:…

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Good old genes

2011-10-07 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

To live to be very old, have good old genes. A researcher at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York City saw this in 447 people ages 95 to 112. Nir Barzilai says their lifestyles weren’t more healthy than others born around…

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Strokes early

2011-10-06 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Researchers say more younger people are having strokes. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Mary George saw this in data on people ages 15 to 44. She says hospitalizations for ischemic stroke – the most common form – went up by 30 to 3…

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Weights and smokes

2011-10-05 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Weight training might help people stop smoking. At the Miriam Hospital in Rhode Island, Joseph Ciccolo tested the idea on 25 smokers. All got smoking cessation training and nicotine patches, but some did twice-a-week resistance exercise for 12 weeks.…

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Five ways to fight diabetes

2011-10-04 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

People can lower their risk of diabetes by doing five things. At the National Institutes of Health, researcher Jared Reis saw that in data on more than 200,000 people. He looked at following a healthy diet, having a healthy weight, being physically active…

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Be confident, be active

2011-10-03 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Building confidence can increase short-term physical activity. Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, were divided into three groups. One group took a self-confidence program with a specific message. Janet Larson at the University …

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Ticks’ tricks

2011-09-30 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

For something so tiny, ticks have a big capacity to make people sick. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chris Paddock says more than 30 different infections can be carried by ticks – depending on the virus, bacterium or parasite in the ti…

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Risk of glaucoma

2011-09-29 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Diabetes and hypertension could increase your risk of getting glaucoma. Glaucoma can lead to loss of peripheral, or side-to-side, vision – and even blindness. Researchers used data from 2 million people in a health care claims database.  Joshua Stein is …

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Billions on obesity

2011-09-28 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

How much does America’s weight problem cost us in dollars and cents? Researchers have figured out the price just in medical care for conditions that could be blamed on obesity, such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. The researchers, who…

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Cancer by sex

2011-09-27 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Men and women can develop forms of cancer specific to their sex.  But there are screening tests for some of these cancers. For women, the Pap test for cervical cancer can find abnormal cells that could become cancerous, in time for treatment that could pr…

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Fighting on

2011-09-26 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Some things change during a marriage, but a study indicates that the amount of fighting the couples do is not among them. Researcher Claire Kamp Dush of Ohio State University saw this in 20 years of data on about 1,000 couples: ``Levels of conflict were …

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The benefits of breastfeeding

2011-09-23 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Breastfeeding is good for mothers and children. It reduces the risks that children will get infectious diseases, diabetes, obesity, or SIDS.  And women who breastfeed longer have a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer.  But many women are not able to…

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Predicting panic attacks

2011-09-22 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Your body may give you hints that you’re going to have a panic attack, a short period of intense fear and discomfort. Forty-three panic attack sufferers carried portable recorders that measured respiration, heart rate and other bodily functions, over 2,00…

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Inactive with arthritis

2011-09-21 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Arthritis can make it painful to move, but people with arthritis can help themselves by being active. At the Institute for Healthcare Studies of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago, Dorothy Dunlop says the health benefits of physic…

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What’s your supplement

2011-09-20 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

For those fighting cancer, herbal supplements may not be the answer. Researchers compared cancer patients 65 and older with younger patients, examining how they use supplements and the reasons why. Dr. June McKoy is at Northwestern University Feinberg Sc…

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Taking diabetes to school

2011-09-19 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Kids with diabetes go to school like other kids. But in addition to managing their schoolwork and extracurriculars, like sports, they have to manage their diabetes. The director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Dr. …

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Scarlet fever

2011-09-16 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Scarlet fever has a scary name, and it can be a bad disease – but it doesn’t have to be. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pediatrician Katherine Fleming-Dutra says the infectious bacterium that causes scarlet fever is the same as the one…

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Too big all over

2011-09-15 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

America’s obesity problem has been growing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says data show at least 20 percent of adults in all states and the District of Columbia were obese, as were 30 percent of people in 12 states. At the CDC, researche…

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Exercising against Alzheimer’s

2011-09-14 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Regular exercise may offer some protection against Alzheimer’s. Two studies on people in three states measured the effects of exercise on brain function over five years. Eric Larson is a commenter, and Executive Director of the Group Health Research Inst…

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Dieting, exercise and diabetes

2011-09-13 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Women may be able to prevent getting type 2 diabetes by dieting and exercising. A new study suggests that combined, the two activities have the greatest result. Postmenopausal women were separated into four groups for one year.…

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The killer tube

2011-09-12 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

If you watch a lot of TV, you literally might not be able to run from the effects that the couch time could have on how long you live. At the National Cancer Institute, Charles Matthews saw it in data on close to 241,000 people ages 50 to 71, who were fol…

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No easy choice

2011-09-09 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Screening for prostate cancer means searching for it early, before symptoms develop – when treatment, if it’s needed, could be most effective. But prostate cancer screening has some asterisks. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Susan Lair…

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Heart disease, breast cancer, and women

2011-09-08 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

A study indicates heart disease is more likely to older kill women than breast cancer, even if those women already had breast cancer. Researchers looked at more than 60,000 women, diagnosed with breast cancer, for 12 years. Heart disease killed more of th…

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Omega-3 and Alzheimer’s

2011-09-07 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

A new study shows Omega-3 does not slow the progression of Alzheimer’s. Patients were given DHA, a component of fish oil that has a specific omega-3 fatty acid. DHA had no effect on memory retention. Author, Joseph Quinn is a researcher at Oregon Health …

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Sneeze and bark

2011-09-06 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Can sneezers and barkers live in the same house? People who are allergic to dog dander but who love dogs might want a dog that’s hypoallergenic, which means it won’t create as many allergy-triggering particles.    Good luck with that. Researchers at Henr…

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Hantavirus

2011-09-05 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is something you don’t want, but very likely won’t get. It’s an infection caused by viruses. Symptoms include fever, aches and breathing problems. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Adam MacNeil says about 1 …

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Protecting your liver

2011-09-02 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Early detection and treatment can help people beat viral hepatitis, which is a group of infections that affect the liver. In the United States, the three main forms are known as A, B, and C. In some cases, hepatitis can kill. But some people with hepatiti…

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The lives of boomers

2011-09-01 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

What used to be the baby boom is now the senior surge, as the generation ages to 65 and beyond. Experts think it may go well beyond, as medical care and a decrease in smoking extend boomers’ lifespans. But these may be healthier years only for some. Dr. …

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Be positive, be healthy

2011-08-31 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Teens who feel good about themselves are more likely to grow into young adults who feel better about their health. The study analyzed data from more than 10,000 young people in grades 7 through 12 of the 1994-1995 school year, who were followed until 2001…

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Caught early

2011-08-30 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

To have a better chance to beat some cancers, you have to spot them early. For a number of cancers, this is possible, through screening tests. And colorectal cancer is among these.  At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lisa Richardson says …

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Smoking kids’ movies

2011-08-29 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Kids who watch movies with more smoking are more likely to become smokers. But three of six major studios have policies to reduce scenes of smoking in movies rated G, PG and PG-13. At the University of California, San Francisco, researcher Stanton Glantz …

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A baby, your weight, and diabetes

2011-08-26 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

If you plan to get pregnant, your weight can affect your risk of getting gestational diabetes; a form of diabetes that is diagnosed during pregnancy. Researchers saw this in data from 22,000 women who had their first or second pregnancy from 1996 to 2006.…

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Diabetes Health Sense

2011-08-25 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Diabetes can get out of control if people with it don’t manage it continuously and correctly, so they have to know what to do and when to do it. The National Diabetes Education Program has created an Internet tool, Diabetes Health Sense, which gives peop…

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How to not get invasive group A strep

2011-08-24 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Invasive group A streptococcal disease can be anywhere from minor to fatal. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chris Van Beneden says the bacteria are spread through mucus, or contact with infected wounds or sores. She says otherwise healt…

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Death by belt size

2011-08-23 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

A study indicates that kidney disease patients with larger waists also have a higher risk of death. Researchers saw it in four years of data on about 5,800 kidney disease patients. At Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Illinois, Holly Kramer comp…

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Beating the heat

2011-08-22 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

When we’re outside in the heat, we’re at risk of heat illness. But if you’re a male, or someone 15 through 19 years old, you could be at greater risk. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researcher Ellen Yard:…

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What’s new with the family?

2011-08-19 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Family news can be important to doctors, too. Researchers say that if a patient’s close relative develops a disease that can run in families, the patient’s risk may go up, so doctors could change their recommendations for screening tests. At Baylor Colle…

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Kids and concussions

2011-08-18 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Children account for 90 percent of hospital emergency room visits for sports-related concussions.  Analysts with HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, or AHRQ, found this in the agency’s 2008 emergency department database.   AHRQ’s Claudia Ste…

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Brisk walks and prostate cancer

2011-08-17 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Brisk walking is good for the body. It reduces insulin and chronic inflammation; both of which affect growth of prostate cancer. A new survey of more than 1,400 prostate cancer patients showed that physical activity can affect that risk.  Dr. Erin Richma…

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Your job, your move

2011-08-16 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

If you work, and how you work, can affect your health. An analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, N-HANES, found that employment status can affect physical activity levels. Dane Van Domelen is at the National Institute of Aging.…

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The diet yo-yo

2011-08-15 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Like the tide on a beach, the weight of yo-yo dieters fluctuates. It’s not one specific diet. Yo-yo dieters struggle to keep lost weight off, losing it and gaining it back in cycles. A longevity study compared lifespan for mice on a high fat diet, a low f…

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Heart-protecting living

2011-08-12 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

A healthy lifestyle is generally good for the heart, as we know. And researchers say they can spot one way in which women’s hearts specifically may benefit – a reduced risk of sudden cardiac death. At Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, rese…

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Binge drinkers’ brains

2011-08-11 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Images of the brains of binge drinkers indicates binge drinking thins the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which handles things like paying attention, making decisions, and controlling impulses. At the University of Cincinnati, Tim McQueeny saw it in a pilot s…

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Growing healthy in community gardens

2011-08-10 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Community gardening may help people grow a healthier lifestyle. Researchers saw that in survey data from Denver residents in 2006 and 2007. Jill Litt of the Colorado School of Public Health says community gardeners ate better. ``About 25 percent of peopl…

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Bullying, then and now

2011-08-09 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

A study indicates men who were bullies as children are more likely to be violent with intimate partners in adulthood. Bullying is broad in this sense, including gender based behaviors, as well.…

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Flu-free kids

2011-08-08 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

It doesn’t have to be chilly out for it to be flu season. Although flu season can run into March, it typically can start in August, and warm-weather flu might catch people by surprise. Flu can hit preschool children, especially, pretty hard. So parents sh…

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Wet ears

2011-08-05 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Add up the number of swimmers, multiply by two for the number of ears, and you have a lot of chances for people to get acute otitis externa – better known as swimmer’s ear. It’s a painful infection of the outer ear canal, usually caused by bacteria. Sympt…

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Quality of care, here and there

2011-08-04 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

When comparing all hospitals in the United States and U.S. territories side by side, those in the United States have better quality of care. The data, gathered from 2005 to 2008, compared 30-day death rates of Medicare patients, admitted for heart attack,…

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Safe working teens

2011-08-03 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Working can make a teen money, show the teen the working world, and build confidence. But a researcher says parents could do more about safety issues their teens may face at work. Carol Runyan of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill interviewed…

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Lifelong exercise for your heart

2011-08-02 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

A healthy heart is like a rubber band. The more elastic it is, the better it works. A new study shows lifelong exercise can help your heart stay that way. Researcher, Benjamin Levine is at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.…

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Easier with yoga

2011-08-01 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

A study indicates yoga can ease stress in women getting radiation treatment for breast cancer. At the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Lorenzo Cohen saw this in women who did yoga or stretching. He says the stretching group reported feeling…

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Not waterproof

2011-07-29 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Even if sunscreens say they’re waterproof, they’re not. Sunscreens can wash off with sweat, or just being in the water. When this happens, their sun protection washes off, too, leaving users at greater risk for burns, premature skin aging and possibly eve…

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An eye on sight

2011-07-28 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

About 14 million people ages 12 and older have vision problems. Although 80 percent of these problems can be corrected with glasses, that still leaves a lot of Americans with more serious problems in sight. At the Centers for Disease Control and Preventio…

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Tai chi fighting depression

2011-07-27 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

A Westernized form of tai chi may help older people being treated for depression. At UCLA, Helen Lavretsky saw this in a study involving 73 people ages 60 or older who had only partial benefit from drug treatment. Half took part in the tai chi-style phys…

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Teens, sodas and weight

2011-07-26 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

This may be hard for teens to swallow, but sugar-sweetened sodas, sports drinks and the like can give them something they don’t want – excess weight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at teens’ beverage choices. And the CDC’s Caitlin M…

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Cats, dogs and allergies

2011-07-25 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

A study indicates early exposure to pets is a good thing for preventing allergies to pets. Researchers found that when they measured allergic response to cats and dogs from birth through the teen years.…

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The broader spectrum

2011-07-22 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

With the sun, what you can’t see can hurt you. Ultraviolet rays – too high up the spectrum for the human eye to see – can cause sunburns, premature skin aging and even skin cancer.  We need to be concerned about two types of UV rays – UVA and UVB. Most U…

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Family stories

2011-07-21 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

When the whole clan is over for a summer party, what do people talk about? Not uncommonly, themselves and each other. So let’s see if we can put some of this information share to good use, by getting together a family health history. A record of people’s …

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Timing babies

2011-07-20 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

For all the joy of being a mom, giving birth takes a toll on the mother’s body, which may need time to recover before having another baby. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Naomi Tepper is an OB/GYN physician: ``It’s very important for …

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Sodium, potassium and staying alive

2011-07-19 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Researchers who looked at 15 years of national health data say too much sodium and too little potassium can raise the risk of dying. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Elena Kuklina saw this in records on more than 12,000 people: ``Ameri…

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Drugged, driving and dead

2011-07-18 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Driving while high is a good way to get laid low. At the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, in Calverton, Maryland, Eduardo Romano and Robert Voas saw this in federal data on drug tests on drivers in fatal crashes. Dr. Voas: ``Drugs were more…

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Thirty years of AIDS

2011-07-08 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

It’s been 30 years since the first published medical report on the disease we now know as HIV/AIDS. In that time, testing and treatment have developed, to change prospects for the better for people who have the disease.…

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Heart risk and women

2011-07-07 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Metabolic syndrome is a condition that affects women with three of five conditions; obesity, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, elevated blood pressure and elevated fasting glucose. Women with Metabolic Syndrome are at a higher risk for heart attack…

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High blood pressure, young age

2011-07-06 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Young adulthood should be a healthy time. But a study indicates many people ages 24 to 32 have high blood pressure. Researchers looked at data on more than 14,000 people. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kathleen Mullan Harris says many…

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Being big, thinking small

2011-07-05 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

It’s not uncommon for overweight or obese people to think of themselves as thinner than they are – even think their weight is normal. But a study indicates those who misperceive their weight may also guess wrong on their cholesterol levels, and their wais…

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Baste, don't cook

2011-07-04 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Summer is sun season, when lots of us cook ourselves until we’re overdone by spending too much time in the sun with too little sun protection. The least these burns can lead to is redness and peeling skin; the worst is skin cancer. But proper use of sunsc…

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Overweight and overtired

2011-07-01 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

There can be a lot of reasons why kids are sleepy during the day, and not getting enough sleep at night is only part of the problem. Edward Bixler of Penn State College of Medicine has been looking for underlying causes, in 508 children ages 5 to 12 years…

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Thinking and the Stroke Belt

2011-06-30 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

People in the Stroke Belt – eight Southeastern states in which people have a higher risk of stroke –may also have a slightly higher risk of cognitive impairment, to their ability to think. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham saw it in a…

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What’s in your wallet

2011-06-29 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

If you take a lot of medications and supplements, it can be hard to keep track of what you’re taking, when you should take it, and how much. But a reminder that can fit in your wallet can make the job a lot easier. HHS’s Agency for Healthcare Research an…

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Look into my eyes

2011-06-28 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

OK, you can’t look into my eyes. This is only audio. But eye doctors can look, and experts at the National Institutes of Health say it’s a good idea for you to let them. Ophthalmologist Rachel Bishop says regular comprehensive exams can spot problems ear…

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Anyone can get skin cancer

2011-06-27 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Skin color doesn’t give anyone an immunity to skin cancer. Although people with light skin have greater risk than people with darker skin, people with darker skin can also be at risk. The National Cancer Institute has a new brochure, ``Anyone Can Get Skin…

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The shower fall

2011-06-24 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

There’s no place like home, but this doesn’t mean it’s safe. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saw that. The researchers estimate 234,000 people ages 15 and older go to the emergency department each year because they got hurt i…

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Obesity, inactivity and arthritis

2011-06-23 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Not getting enough physical activity is a problem for many of us – and, a study finds, especially for obese people with arthritis. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saw the effect of arthritis in data from national health surve…

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Your best shot at protection

2011-06-10 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Here’s something Americans can be proud of: We have record low cases of diseases that can be prevented by immunizations, because by and large we get vaccinated. But while this gives us protection, it isn’t ironclad. At the Centers for Disease Control and …

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Fast and wrong

2011-06-09 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Energy drinks can get you keyed up. With alcohol, you can act without thinking. And a lot of people mix the two, so researcher Cecile Marczinski of Northern Kentucky University measured what happens. In lab experiments, Marczinksi looked at decision-makin…

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Breast cancer and smoking

2011-06-08 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

A study indicates that postmenopausal women who smoke have a higher risk of breast cancer. At West Virginia University, Juhua Luo and colleagues looked at more than 10 years of data on close to 80,000 women ages 50 to 79 in the Women’s Health Initiative. …

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Fat burning and fatty liver disease

2011-06-07 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease builds up harmful fat in the liver. But a small study indicates people with this condition can fight this by walking an hour a day at a brisk pace. At the Cleveland Clinic, John Kirwan saw it in data on 15 people over seve…

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Dinner at 8

2011-06-06 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

This could be easy to remember: Dinner at 8 or even more late might not be great for your weight.  Researchers at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine saw that when they looked at meal times and sleep patterns in 52 people. The study f…

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Snakes and frogs

2011-06-03 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

You might not be able to teach a snake to fetch your paper, but people do keep them as pets. People keep other reptiles, too, like turtles – as well as frogs and other amphibians. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says reptiles and amphib…

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Losing weight, remembering more

2011-06-02 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

How much you weigh and how well you remember may be connected. At Kent State University in Ohio, John Gunstad saw it in data on people who underwent bariatric surgery to reduce the size of their stomachs. The researchers found memory and concentration had…

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Women, weight, and growing older

2011-06-01 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

People commonly find it hard to take off the pound or two a year that most adults put on. But it can be done. At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, researcher Anne McTiernan tried it with 439 overweight-to-obese women ages 50 to 75, becaus…

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Older boomers driving

2011-05-31 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Boomers grew up behind the wheel. But as the baby boom generation reaches senior citizen status, 65 is no longer just a speed limit. At the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Jonathan King says about 2 million more drivers will hit 65 – the age – this yea…

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The brain on ecstasy

2011-05-30 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Researchers who’ve looked at brain images of ecstasy users say the damage done by the illegal drug might not go away. Ronald Cowan of Vanderbilt University compared people who had used the drug – although not in the past two weeks – to those who had never…

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What kids really eat

2010-11-23 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

If lots of pizza, desserts and sugary drinks amounted to healthy eating, our kids would be doing well. But that’s not healthy eating, and a lot of our kids are not doing well. At the National Cancer Institute, Jill Reedy examined national survey data on w…

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More drinking

2010-11-22 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat. A look at national survey data finds an increase in the number of people who drink. At the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Raul Caetano examine…

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Survival and limitations

2010-11-19 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

A study indicates that being able to do normal activities of daily living after breast cancer treatment is a good sign for a longer life.…

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Kids, nights and weight

2010-11-18 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Children who don’t get a good night’s sleep might wind up with an overweight body. Researchers saw it in around 1,900 children from birth to 13 years old. The researchers looked at sleep patterns and weight in 1997 and 2002.…

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Smoking parents

2010-11-17 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

A parent who smokes might feel that he or she doesn’t have the standing to tell a kid not to smoke. But at the University of Illinois at Chicago, researcher Robin Mermelstein says the kids may well listen to the advice to stop smoking…

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It’s not the blues

2010-11-16 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Everybody feels blue sometimes. But depression is different and more severe. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found about 1 in 10 Americans has symptoms of depression.…

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Lungs and daycare

2010-11-15 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Lungs and daycare…

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Moms’ shots for babies

2010-11-12 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

Babies can get seriously ill with flu. But flu vaccines aren’t licensed for babies under 6 months, so what should a mom do?…

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Living with arthritis

2010-11-11 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates more than 22 percent of American adults live with arthritis, and more than 42 percent have the condition so bad that it limits their activities.…

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Vitamin before baby

2010-11-10 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)
Length: 1m 0s

If a woman doesn’t get enough of the B vitamin folic acid, her baby could have severe – even fatal – birth defects of the brain or spine. But these neural tube defects develop in the first weeks of pregnancy – before a woman might even know she’s pregnant…

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Making your heart race

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Exercise on a regular basis and you’ll decrease your risk for heart problems. But suddenly run down the street to catch the bus, or shovel the snow, and your risk of a heart attack or cardiac arrest jumps like your heart does. Jessica Paulus is an assi…

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Choices to manage diabetes

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Living with type 2 diabetes can be difficult, but talking with your health care provider about the choices that are best for you isn’t always easy either. So HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (or AHRQ) has guides that can help explain di…

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Teens wanting weight loss

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

There are right ways and wrong ways to lose weight. At Temple University, Clare Lenhart looked at data on almost 6,000 high school students in Philadelphia who were obese – about three quarters said they were trying to lose weight. Lenhart says the tee…

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The echoing argument

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

If you argue with your family, your friends may be next. Researchers at UCLA recruited nearly 600 high school freshman to keep a diary and checklist for two weeks, reporting on their daily activities. That included the times they argued and with whom.  …

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Caregivers’ self-care

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

If you’re giving care to a family member who is seriously ill, it’s also important to take care of yourself. Being a family caregiver is a big job that often comes on top of other work and home responsibilities. So it’s important to watch your stres…

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Fighting for air

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

About 24 million Americans have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, which can make it hard to breathe.  Even grocery shopping can leave them struggling for air. People who don’t realize they have COPD might think they’re just growing old…

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Down and eating

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Teenage girls may think that eating can help their problems go away. A new study shows girls who feel depressed are twice as likely to start binge eating. But do a 180, and the same is true.…

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The holiday gift of health

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

The holiday season is a very busy time. But there’s one gift you can give – to yourself and the people you care for – that only takes a few minutes. And you can get it while you’re shopping. It’s a flu vaccination, and you can get it at a lot o…

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Better C, better risk

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A healthful level of vitamin C might help heart failure patients reduce their risk of emergency room visits, and even death.  Researcher Eun Kyung Song of the University of Ulsan in South Korea saw this in data on 212 patients who were followed for a yea…

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Spreading the shot benefit

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

It’s flu season, so health care workers are giving flu shots. And, says an infectious disease expert at the National Institutes of Health, health care workers are getting flu shots. Dr. Tara Palmore says it’s important for health care workers to be p…

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Teens’ drug problems

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Teens are the most likely people to start using drugs, and these drugs can create what psychiatrists consider symptoms. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, examined national data on drug use and symptoms in 12- to 17-y…

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Working out the back pain

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Chronic lower back pain is hard to live with and can be hard to control. But a study indicates two activities that could help some people – yoga and stretching. At Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, Karen Sherman looked at data on people with …

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Rehashing family history

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

When the family comes from far and near for the holidays, the question, ``How are you doing?’’ can be more just than a greeting.  It can lead to good things about health, because the answers can help to put together a family health history.…

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Double the risk

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates that the risk factors for stroke may also lead to cognitive problems. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a risk factor for stroke. And a study that followed 30,000 people found hypertension is also a risk factor for cognitive impai…

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Spotting spreading measles

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Measles is one of the most infectious viral diseases there is, so it can spread very quickly among unvaccinated people. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Paul Rota has been studying measles outbreaks in Europe. One tool uses genetic i…

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Smokers in training

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

One thing some students seem to learn in college is how to smoke. This learning can lead to personal biology lessons later in life from a cancer doctor or a heart surgeon. But a study indicates that, in college, many are not constant smokers – yet. At …

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Well-rested teens?

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates that teens who get enough physical activity also seem to get enough sleep, while those who hang out at the computer don’t. Researcher Kathryn Foti of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed national survey data on almos…

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Fifty-plus and working on it

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

You can plan on being healthy over 50. That’s literally true, because HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, or AHRQ, has two updated guides that can help people do it – one for men and one for women. AHRQ’s director, Dr. Carolyn Clanc…

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Kids and sweetness

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Keeping a kid away from sugar-sweetened drinks is not so easy. A study finds kids seem to find ways around it. Researcher Daniel Taber of the University of Illinois at Chicago looked at survey data on about 6,900 fifth- and eighth graders in 40 states.…

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Safe kids’ activities

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Getting kids to be physically active is important, because many don’t get the 60 minutes of activity they need each day. But so is keeping them safe. With that in mind, researcher Keshia Pollack of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health re…

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A sweet risk

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Sugar-sweetened beverages. Drink more rather than less and your health may suffer. Especially for women. A study observed the health impacts of drinking excessive sugar-sweetened drinks: soda, flavored water, and non-alcoholic beer. Christina Shay is at…

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Losing and staying lost

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Losing weight can be difficult, and keeping it off can be no easier. But a study indicates it can be done, with help. At Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Lawrence Appel examined data on obese people. Some got support from trained weight …

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The coffee-only break?

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

For dieters, a snack with the mid-morning coffee can be trouble. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Anne McTiernan looked at data on 123 overweight to obese women, ages 50 to 70, who were dieting. Mid-morning snackers lost about 7…

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Keeping up with the medications

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Especially as people grow older, they amass what amounts to a drug collection. The prescriptions can be daunting, especially with the requirements to take some with food, some without, some without only certain foods, some at only certain times of the day…

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Fewer years for teens?

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Today’s teens’ poor health habits might cost them years of life. A study found this in data on about 5,500 teens. Donald Lloyd-Jones of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago examined risk factors for heart disease. Many teens…

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Eat what? Fruits and veggies!

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Mom and Dad might tell teens to eat their fruits and veggies. So what do teens do? At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researcher Sonia Kim saw an answer in national survey data: ``We found that 1 in 4 teens were eating fruit less than on…

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Up to scale

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Parents: your child may have weight problems you don’t see. But it’s not just you. Pediatricians may not be telling parents what they need to hear. The national health survey NHANES asked parents if a doctor or health professional had ever told them t…

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Babies’ iron balance

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Breastfeeding is best for babies, although many babies grow on formula. But a study indicates it’s important for formula-fed babies to get exactly what they need. Betsy Lozoff of the University of Michigan looked at babies in Chile who got iron-fortifi…

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Text4baby

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Being pregnant or a new mom carries a lot of new responsibility, and often a lot of questions. But answers can fit into a woman’s cellphone. A program called Text4baby sends free text messages to phones. The messages have health tips for pregnancy and f…

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Still time left

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

There’s lots of time left in the flu season, and there are two ways of looking at that. If you haven’t gotten your flu vaccine, you still have time to get vaccinated. The alternative is that if you haven’t gotten your dose of protection, you still h…

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Obese and HER2

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Women with a more aggressive form of breast cancer may have even larger problems if they are obese – but treatment can make a big difference. At the Mayo Clinic, Jennifer Crozier examined data on women with early HER-2-positive breast cancer. Crozier s…

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Smoke-free teen texts

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Teens who start smoking could smoke more over their lifetimes– which may be made shorter as a result. It’s a good reason to quit. But teen smoking expert Dr.Yvonne Hunt of the National Institutes of Health says quit programs are often designed for ad…

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High numbers on high blood pressure

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

High blood pressure is huge in America. Analysts at HHS’ Agency for Heathcare Research and Quality, or AHRQ, reviewed the latest available numbers. AHRQ’s Karen Davis: ``One in every 4 adults, representing some 55 million Americans, was treated for h…

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Children attempting suicide

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates that young people who attempt suicide may do it at surprisingly young ages. University of Washington researcher James Mazza saw it in survey data on 883 18- or 19-year-olds who had attempted suicide. He says almost 40 percent said their …

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The little heart that could

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Being a healthy baby means having a healthy heart. Heart defects occur when there is a structure problem with the heart and can lead to functioning problems. It happens during pregnancy and certain women are at a higher risk. Dr. Stuart Shapira is at the…

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Learning and waiting

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Forming a family happens with some people later than with others. At the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, researchers say people with at least a bachelor’s degree were least likely to form a fam…

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The midlife heart crisis

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

Forget the shiny red car, or the extreme makeover. The so called “midlife crisis” may be all about your blood pressure. A study at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine reviewed blood pressure in 60,000 people, ages 41 to 55. Norrin…

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Minding meals out

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

People eat lots of meals out – and when they eat out, they tend to eat lots.  So researcher Gayle Timmerman of the University of Texas at Austin has been looking at ways in which people can eat out without letting their calories get away from them. Sh…

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Watching weight gain?

0000-00-00 :: Ira.Dreyfuss@hhs.gov (Ira Dreyfuss)

A study indicates young women don’t always realize when they’ve gained weight. Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston saw this among 466 women with an average age of 25, who did six-month checkups in which they reported whe…

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