Debate over vaccine requirements forges strange alliance
DENVER -- When it comes to vaccinations, some states' approaches have been more successful than others. Although Missouri is below the national average for vaccination rates, the state has fared better than others in the face of a recent measles outbreak...
Lung cancer now top cancer killer for women in rich nations
For the first time, lung cancer has passed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths for women in rich countries. The reason is smoking, which peaked years later for women than it did for men. Lung cancer has been the top cancer killer for men for decades...
Black breast-feeding gatherings battle troubling health gaps
MILWAUKEE -- Once a month, baby-toting young women gather in a YMCA conference room to share tips, talk about and demonstrate breast-feeding -- an age-old yet sometimes shunned practice in their community. It's part of a grass-roots movement that breast-feeding advocates think just might yield profound benefits -- potentially helping diminish health gaps facing black Americans, from higher rates of infant mortality and childhood obesity, to more breast cancer deaths and heart disease in adults...
Botox still in use for its original purpose -- preventing eye spasms
When a medicine's side effects turn out to be more marketable than its intended purpose, people tend to forget what the intended purposes were. The "little blue pill" never quite became synonymous with pulmonary arterial hypertension, and Botox is often similarly considered only in terms of it's more popular application: making people look younger...
Medical pot only OK for sick kids failed by other drugs, MDs say
CHICAGO -- With virtually no hard proof that medical marijuana benefits sick children, and evidence that it may harm developing brains, the drug should only be used for severely ill children who have no other treatment option, the nation's most influential pediatricians group says in a new policy...
Flu vaccine not working well; only 23 percent effective
NEW YORK -- This year's flu vaccine is doing a pretty crummy job. It's only 23 percent effective, which is one of the worst performances in the last decade, according to a government study released Thursday. The poor showing is primarily because the vaccine doesn't include the bug that is making most people sick, health officials say. In the last decade, flu vaccines at their best were 50 to 60 percent effective...
Tiny sodas: Fewer calories, less guilt means more money for sodamakers
NEW YORK -- Americans want to cut back on soda, and they're willing to pay more to do it. With people drinking less soda amid health concerns, Coke and Pepsi are pushing smaller cans and bottles that contain fewer calories and, they say, induce less guilt. That all comes at a price: Those cute little cans can cost more than twice as much per ounce...
Hospice care can take care of 'spiritual and emotional' needs of patients, family members
Hospice is a charged word. It conjures images of sickness, separation and not much hope, so people tend to avoid confronting it. But its negative connotation is largely misappropriated. However painful the idea may be, hospice care, when confronted realistically, can greatly increase a patient's quality of life, making the unfortunate ordeal more bearable...
Risks to mothers trying for test-tube babies rare, study says
CHICAGO -- Complications are uncommon for women undergoing test-tube fertility procedures: A new 12-year U.S. study shows the most frequent involve drugs used to stimulate ovaries, but it suggests problems are rarely fatal. Overstimulated ovaries occurred in 154 out of every 10,000 pregnancy attempts; rates of other complications were fewer than 10 per 10,000 attempts. ...
Medicare pays doctors to coordinate seniors' chronic care
WASHINGTON -- Adjusting medications before someone gets sick enough to visit the doctor. Updating outside specialists so one doctor's prescription doesn't interfere with another's. Starting this month, Medicare will pay primary care doctors a monthly fee to better coordinate care for the most vulnerable seniors -- those with multiple chronic illnesses -- even if they don't have a face-to-face exam...
Local studio gives lift with aerial yoga
With the arrival of a new year, a common resolution is to eat healthier and once again begin regular workouts. This year The Source-Yoga 'n More is offering a few fun new ways to exercise, in the form of aerial yoga. Aerial yoga involves using "silks" or nylon bands to suspend a person off the ground in a deep, relaxing stretch. Participants can "invert" themselves by flipping upside down while suspended, or simply practice their stretches while keeping a foot firmly planted on the ground...
New diet guidelines might pull back from meat over environmental concerns
WASHINGTON -- Where's the beef? A panel that advises the Agriculture Department appears set to recommend that you be told not only what foods are better for your own health, but also for the environment. That means that when the latest version of the government's dietary guidelines comes out, it may push even harder than it has in recent years for people to choose more fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and other plant-based foods -- at the expense of meat...
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