Wellnews from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Mon, 22 Jul 2019 06:20:52 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Wellnews from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/wellnews-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews ac08495597d0220223f4f1f1100d820e Mixed Thinking for 07/17/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/07/19/mixed-thinking Wed, 17 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Almost half of older adults (ages 50 to 80) think they'll develop dementia sometime in their life, according to a new National Poll on Healthy Aging from the University of Michigan. But nearly two-thirds said they were engaging in some kind of activity to either help prevent or minimize dementia, such as playing brain games or taking nutritional supplements.</p> <p>Somewhat contrarily, just 5% of those polled said they had spoken to their doctor about proven ways to prevent dementia, such as maintaining ideal blood pressure and glucose levels, avoiding harmful alcohol intake and getting regular exercise.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 17, 2019</p> 1ff496d193d0de7227098446b3909657 Taking Mental Note for 07/10/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/07/19/taking-mental-note Wed, 10 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Private insurance claims for mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety, have increased 108% since 2007, according to a new report. Major depressive disorder was the most common reason for a filed claim. Much of the increase was due to more claims by those aged 22 and younger. Among claimants 18 and younger, the most common reason was cannabis abuse.</p> <p>Note: The data was solely from private insurers and doesn't reflect claims involving public insurance or the uninsured.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 10, 2019</p> 6b6101e58573c937cb9c7f25da346afc Fat of the Land for 07/03/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/07/19/fat-of-the-land-3fc72 Wed, 03 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Rural areas &#8212; not cities, as in the past &#8212; are the major contributor to the global rise in body mass index and the related obesity epidemic, reports STAT. A new study by the international NCD Risk Factor Collaboration looked at data from more than 112 million adults in 200 countries. They found that 55% of the global BMI increase in 2017 was due to higher measures in rural areas, though more people now live in urban areas.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">The BMI of rural men and women increased roughly twice the BMI of urban dwellers, on average. Some likely causative factors: lower education and income, higher price of healthy foods and less access to public transportation.</span><p>Updated: Wed Jul 03, 2019</p> 8073cd1ef5a5c4e152f06455b18feb63 Taught Napping for 06/26/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/06/19/taught-napping Wed, 26 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Exhausted parents and teachers have long insisted that naps are beneficial &#8212; for the kids, too. Now they've got some empirical evidence to back them up. A new University of California, Irvine study of nearly 3,000 middle schoolers found a correlation between midday napping and greater happiness, improved self-control, fewer behavioral problems and higher IQ.</p> <p>"Children who napped three or more times per week benefit from a 7.6% increase in academic performance in Grade 6," said one study author. "How many kids at school would not want their scores to go up by 7.6 points out of 100?"<p>Updated: Wed Jun 26, 2019</p> 2750c1bc548249b6089125e1a6b49d2d Brother, Can You Care Me a Dime? for 06/19/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/06/19/brother-can-you-care-me-a-dime Wed, 19 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The costs of caregiving are myriad and diverse. Often, when the topic comes up, it's about the emotional toll. According to some experts, the divorce rate among couples in which one or both are caregivers to a spouse or family member is as high as 75%.</p> <p>But the financial toll can be no less devastating. A 2016 study by AARP found that the average caregiver spends $6,954 a year in out-of-pocket costs caring for a family member, with expenses ranging from $7 for medical wipes to thousands of dollars to retrofit a home or hire expensive outside help. (To wit: The going rate in San Francisco for a home health aide is $25 to $35 per hour.)</p> <p>Some states are attempting to ease the burden. In California, legislators have introduced a bill that would give family caregivers a tax credit of up to $5,000 annually to help offset expenses. Similar legislation is being considered in Arizona, Illinois, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. None has yet been voted on or approved.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 20, 2019</p> 0859233630fd29d65efa0cfc1f35f82f Teasing's Terrible Twist for 06/12/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/06/19/teasings-terrible-twist Wed, 12 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Teens who said they were teased or ridiculed about their weight increased their body mass by 33% each year compared to teens who had not been teased, according to a new national study.</p> <p>The study followed 110 young people for 15 years, beginning at an average age of 11. All were either overweight (a body mass index above the 85th percentile) when they began the study or had two parents who were overweight or obese.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 12, 2019</p> b585d3415b3abd126bcff736912661f0 Tri, Tri, Again for 06/05/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/06/19/tri-tri-again Wed, 05 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>For some years, physicians, engineers and sci-fi geeks have been trying to create a medical device similar (at least in inspiration) to the tricorder of Star Trek fame, which could measure, monitor and diagnose myriad human conditions without much more than a wave over the body.</p> <p>No one has yet reproduced that ideal, but a Scottish company has received FDA approval to market a device that straps around a person's upper arm and monitors respiration, pulse, oxygen saturation, temperature and mobility. It's also capable of wirelessly transmitting that data to doctors, using machine learning to determine if there's an emerging health issue.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 05, 2019</p> 5c3db7def98437201516ee8883dc578f Cancer Alternative Treatments for 05/29/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/05/19/cancer-alternative-treatments Wed, 29 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A new study published in JAMA found that one-third of cancer patients have used alternative therapies. Most popular were herbal supplements, followed by visits to a chiropractor or osteopath.</p> <p>Approximately 30% of the patients who tried alternative approaches said they did not inform their physician, mostly because their doctor didn't ask.<p>Updated: Wed May 29, 2019</p> bac5468fa35da88490e816297087cf38 The Coming Caregiving Crisis for 05/22/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/05/19/the-coming-caregiving-crisis Wed, 22 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>With roughly 8 million middle-class Americans currently over the age of 75, the costs of needed housing and personal assistance is already a big and seemingly intractable issue. A new study suggests it will be bigger and even more problematic in 2029, when the number is projected to almost double to 14 million and more than half are expected to not be able to afford appropriate housing and assistance.</p> <p>Approximately 54% of seniors won't have sufficient income to afford an assisted living facility or adequate care to stay in their own homes, reports NORC, a research institution at the University of Chicago.<p>Updated: Wed May 22, 2019</p> 007d964888aae89c62dbae13b2167e08 Eke! Cigs for 05/15/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/05/19/eke-cigs Wed, 15 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Electronic cigarettes contain a number of chemicals known to be harmful, most notably nicotine, heavy metals and compounds such as diacetyl, a flavorant linked to serious lung disease.</p> <p>A new study out of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found a few other worrisome ingredients: bacterial and fungal toxins. Researchers examined 75 popular e-cigarette products and found almost one-quarter contained traces of endotoxin, a microbial agent found on Gram-negative bacteria, and 81% contained traces of glucan, a cellular component of most fungi. Exposure to these microbial substances is associated with numerous human health issues such as asthma, reduced lung function and inflammation.<p>Updated: Wed May 15, 2019</p> cd68d240594343524591e376e89d9e9e Smoke and Fears for 05/08/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/05/19/smoke-and-fears-19cc1 Wed, 08 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Cancer deaths overall in the United States dropped more than 25% between 1991 and 2016, but the good news is not uniform and there is room for improvement. Nearly a third of all cancer deaths are due to cigarette smoking, but while tobacco use is in decline, some populations remain at a higher risk of mortality. For example, only about 6% of female college graduates smoke while more than 30% of men with less than a high school education do.</p> <p>Exercise is linked to cancer risk. We can attribute 2% of all cancer deaths to a lack of physical activity. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Just over a quarter of all adults in 2018 reported they did not participate in recreational physical activity or exercise.</span><p>Updated: Wed May 08, 2019</p> 60174a5e7e5ea54efcf5da93da5fa7a0 Tweeter-Totter for 05/01/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/04/19/tweeter-totter Wed, 01 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A nationwide survey of 600,000 people found an uptick in the number of teens and young adults experiencing mental health problems. Specifically, researchers found a 50% increase in depressive episodes among kids ages 12 to 17 and a 63% increase in adults 18 to 25. The latter age group also reported a 70% increase in more serious issues such as suicidal thoughts.</p> <p>The researchers suggest increased digital media use may be partly to blame, but more research is needed.<p>Updated: Wed May 01, 2019</p> 9dd1a516e49969dc460ebd892e3e6ea7 Again: Vaccines Don't Cause Autism for 04/24/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/04/19/again-vaccines-dont-cause-autism Wed, 24 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Another major study, this one involving more than 650,000 Danish children, has found no link between autism and the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella. Multiple past studies have also proven no association, and public health experts consider the matter settled science.</p> <p>The latest study followed children for more than a decade, beginning at age 1. There was no increase in the rate of autism among MMR-vaccinated children compared to those unvaccinated.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 24, 2019</p> f46902f7bc766dc64cf629ae10d632eb Being a Great Caregiver for 04/17/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/04/19/being-a-great-caregiver Wed, 17 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Caring for a spouse with a serious chronic illness often places incredible strain upon a relationship, with divorce rates up to 75%. Experts have lots of advice on how to be a great caregiver for the long term. Here are seven suggestions. (Caution: There are no shortcuts.)</p> <p>1. Be a good listener. No one understands what's happening better than the patient. Listen. Walk in their shoes, metaphorically. It will build empathy.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 17, 2019</p> ed2d457a35d10e137fefb7b782d49064 Alone Time for 04/10/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/04/19/alone-time Wed, 10 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>If you're reading this, you're not alone, but you may be lonely. A national poll asked adults 50 to 80 years old about their "health, health behaviors and experiences and feelings related to companionship and social isolation."</p> <p>One in 3 said they felt a lack of companionship (26% said some of the time; 8% said often), and 27% reported feeling isolated from others during the past year.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 10, 2019</p> 4498b800cda0c8d03d524c7515216dcd Smokeless Dire for 04/03/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/04/19/smokeless-dire Wed, 03 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>E-cigarettes are fueling a rise in the use of tobacco products by young people, says the Centers for Disease Control. A new report finds that, in 2018, 4.9 million middle and high school students reported using a tobacco product in the past month, up from 3.6 million in 2017.</p> <p>E-cigarettes were actually the only type of tobacco product that saw an uptick in use.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 03, 2019</p> a2f33ac7787b696a5a7f5c9534e726e5 Paste Not for 03/27/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/03/19/paste-not Wed, 27 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The Centers for Disease Control estimates nearly 40 percent of U.S. kids ages 3 to 6 are spreading too much toothpaste on their toothbrushes. The advised amount is roughly a pea-sized blob to avoid swallowing too much fluoride.</p> <p>Small, unintentional ingestions of fluoride may cause stomach upset, though toothpaste concentrations are quite low, just enough to do the job of remineralizing and repairing tooth enamel. In large amounts, however, fluoride can result in serious toxicity.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 27, 2019</p> 2a44e97dfbe21b4c7c63d32168d4fc3e Sleep Well for 03/20/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/03/19/sleep-well Wed, 20 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>As we age, deep sleep tends to become more of a memory. Older persons tend to sleep less and less well, the latter often due to medications or health issues such as sleep apnea. That has implications for brain health and risk of neurological conditions like Alzheimer's disease.</p> <p>In a recent study using mice, researchers found that the depth of sleep impacts the brain's ability to efficiently wash away waste and toxic proteins. Deep non-REM sleep (beyond dreaming) is optimal for the brain to take care of housecleaning. When that doesn't happen (enough), toxic proteins such as beta-amyloid and tau, both associated with Alzheimer's, may accumulate, speeding neurological decline.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 20, 2019</p> b861d4d3584447aa4668d8e3a55f050a Reach for the Die for 03/13/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/03/19/reach-for-the-die Wed, 13 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and disabilities among drivers 15 to 20 years old. A new study reports that teens who reach for objects while driving, such as food or makeup, increase their risk of crashing nearly seven times.</p> <p>The National Institutes of Health study also found that teen drivers who manually dial, text or browse the web on a cellphone double their risk of getting into an accident.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 13, 2019</p> 745763e438908acb855b525d032a4207 Hedgehog Hygiene Hitch for 03/06/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/wellnews/03/19/hedgehog-hygiene-hitch Wed, 06 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The CDC is warning the public to be careful about playing with pet hedgehogs. A salmonella outbreak spanning eight states has made 11 people sick, including six kids under age 12. The outbreak's source has not yet been determined.</p> <p>The health agency offers some cautionary points, so to speak:<p>Updated: Wed Mar 06, 2019</p>