health

Is Inflammation Bad For You Or Good For You?

Jul 21, 2017

Chronic, low-level inflammation seems to play a role in a host of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's, cancer and even depression. And even though the science on inflammation and disease is far from settled, tests and treatments are being promoted that claim to reduce that risk.

That's even though inflammation is also a force for good, protecting against infection and injury. Acute inflammation occurs when you sprain your ankle or get a paper cut. It's part of the immune system's box of tricks to spark a defense and promote healing.

Harsh life experiences appear to leave African-Americans vulnerable to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, researchers reported Sunday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in London.

Several teams presented evidence that poverty, disadvantage and stressful life events are strongly associated with cognitive problems in middle age and dementia later in life among African-Americans.

PHOTOS: The Sidewalk Pill Peddlers Of Port-Au-Prince

Jul 15, 2017

There is no way to miss the medicine sellers on the streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. They carry spires of curved cardboard covered with multicolored pills — painkillers, antibiotics, Viagra knockoffs, abortion pills and cough syrups for children.

This week, as senators have decamped from Washington for the Fourth of July recess, the future of the Senate's Affordable Care Act replacement plan — and by extension, Medicaid — remains uncertain.

The U.S. is in the midst of an opioid crisis. Millions of Americans are addicted to the powerful prescription painkillers, and tens of thousands are dying each year from overdoses.

A new report out Thursday offers a bit of hope: Doctors are prescribing opioids less often, and the average dose they're giving patients has dropped, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Zika virus may not seem as big a threat as last summer but don't let your guard down — especially if you're pregnant or trying to be.

If you're tired of popping pain medicine for your lower back pain, yoga may be a good alternative.

New research finds that a yoga class designed specifically for back pain can be as safe and effective as physical therapy in easing pain.

The yoga protocol was developed by researchers at Boston Medical Center with input from yoga teachers, doctors and physical therapists.

Diarrhea is not only a topic that makes people a bit squeamish, it turns out to be a difficult disease to put into numbers.

But two trends are clear, says an author of a new report: The number of deaths from diarrheal diseases is dropping dramatically in low-income countries – and ticking upward in wealthy nations.

Florida Blue will file its proposed rates for the Affordable Care Act marketplace this week and officials warn they could increase by 20 percent if the federal government stops funding the cost sharing measures that are included in Obamacare.

A one-paragraph letter, barely a hundred words long, unwittingly became a major contributor to today's opioid crisis, researchers say.

"This has recently been a matter of a lot of angst for me," Dr. Hershel Jick, co-author of that letter, told Morning Edition host David Greene recently. "We have published nearly 400 papers on drug safety, but never before have we had one that got into such a bizarre and unhealthy situation."

The health department is investigating another Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Central Florida – including a fatal case.


The Florida Department of Health is investigating two gyms in the Orlando area for a possible outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

Four people have caught the bacterial lung infection in Orange County. When epidemiologists started investigating the four cases, they found two locations in common among the sick: An LA Fitness in MetroWest and an L.A. Fitness in South Orlando.

Officials in Florida are investigating two LA Fitness health clubs after four customers contracted Legionnaires' disease.

Dog owners often say the best thing about dogs is their unconditional love.

But new research suggests there's another benefit, too. Dog owners walk more.

In a study published Monday in the journal BMC Public Health, dog owners on average walked 22 minutes more per day compared to people who didn't own a dog.

And they weren't just dawdling.

Zika may have fallen from headlines, especially with everything going on in politics these days, but the threat remains.

And recommendations for pregnant women haven't changed: Pregnant women — and those trying to get pregnant — should not travel to places where the Zika virus is circulating.

It's just too risky because Zika can cause birth defects.

But what about babies? Or kids? Is it safe to travel with them?

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