Health

How long and how well kids sleep matters in obesity prevention, new study finds

How long and how well kids sleep matters in obesity prevention, new study finds

A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics put activity monitors similar to a FitBit on 829 adolescents and looked at quality and quantity of sleep and how it related to blood pressure, waist circumference, cholesterol, both triglycerides and HDL, and the potential for insulin resistance. How long and how well kids sleep matters for their health...
Flurry of bills to fight opioid crisis fall short, Texas lawmaker says

Flurry of bills to fight opioid crisis fall short, Texas lawmaker says

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, on the House floor this week compared a slate of bills targeting the opioid epidemic to the equivalent of using a garden hose to fight a wildfire. Congress is considering more than 30 bills to address what health experts have characterized as an ongoing crisis. More than 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016, the deadliest year on record, according to...
‘Very aggressive tick,’ whose bite causes red meat allergies not a hoax, CDC says

‘Very aggressive tick,’ whose bite causes red meat allergies not a hoax, CDC says

Burger lovers, rib grillers, Taco Tuesday fans−listen up. The Center for Disease Control's May 2018 report that diseases transmitted by fleas, mosquitoes and ticks have tripled in recent years was bad enough, but this is even worse. One type of tick bite causes an allergy to red meat. >> Read more trending news  The actual ailment is galactose-alpha, or alpha-gal. It's...

PolitiFact: Lupe Valdez says Republicans cut family planning clinics

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Lupe Valdez tied spending cuts on Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s watch to a plummet in women’s health services. In May, Valdez said, "After Texas cut their two-year family planning budget by $73 million, 1 in 4 clinics closed their doors." We checked on whether that claim held up, first by reconfirming that the Republican-led 2011 Legislature drove...
Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal under recall over salmonella contamination fears

Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal under recall over salmonella contamination fears

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a salmonella outbreak linked to a popular children’s cereal. >> Read more trending news  The CDC has confirmed 73 salmonella cases in 31 states    linked to 15.3 oz. and 23 oz. packages of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. Consumers who ate the contaminated cereal started reporting illnesses on...
Report: Travis County has among highest vaccination opt-out rates

Report: Travis County has among highest vaccination opt-out rates

Austin ranks among the top 15 “hotspots” nationally for vaccine exemptions, making children not vaccinated vulnerable to contagious diseases, according to a new public health study. The study found Austin — along with Houston, Fort Worth, and Plano — was among the nation’s cities with the highest number of kindergartners not getting vaccinated for nonmedical reasons....
Sweeping lawsuit seeks to overturn long list of Texas abortion laws

Sweeping lawsuit seeks to overturn long list of Texas abortion laws

Abortion providers and advocacy groups filed a federal lawsuit Thursday that seeks to overturn more than two dozen Texas abortion laws and regulations, including several that are decades old, arguing that the restrictions are part of a long-term effort designed to limit access to abortion. Filed in Austin federal court, the lawsuit says the Texas restrictions have no medical benefit but were instead...
Increase in depression, suicide risks linked to simultaneous use of common prescription drugs

Increase in depression, suicide risks linked to simultaneous use of common prescription drugs

New research published just days after the suicide deaths of fashion designer Kate Spade and renowned chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain revealed that more than one-third of American adults were using prescription medications that may potentially increase the risk of depression and suicide. >> Read more trending news  Scientists at the University of Illinois examined...
Poll: Majority of Texans support expanding Medicaid

Poll: Majority of Texans support expanding Medicaid

More than two thirds of Texans want state leaders to expand Medicaid coverage, a move that Republican officials have been reluctant to pursue over the years, according to results of a poll released Thursday. The poll conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation and Houston-based Episcopal Health Foundation also found that rising costs is the biggest health care concern among Texans and that 64 percent of...
Texas lags in vaccination rates for human papillomavirus

Texas lags in vaccination rates for human papillomavirus

Hoping to increase vaccination rates in Texas for the human papillomavirus, or HPV, a group of health professionals on Tuesday announced the launch of a new education effort. Ninety percent of HPV cases go away on their own within two years, according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but some forms of HPV can cause cervical and other types of cancer. Experts say getting the vaccine...
Health Experts: Vaccinate kids for HPV to prevent cancers

Health Experts: Vaccinate kids for HPV to prevent cancers

Hoping to increase vaccination rates in Texas for the human papillomavirus, or HPV, a group of health professionals on Tuesday announced the launch of a new education effort. Ninety percent of HPV cases go away on their own within two years, according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but some forms of HPV can cause cervical and other types of cancer. Experts say getting the vaccine...
How to prevent Alzheimer’s: Sleep, drink wine and exercise, researchers say

How to prevent Alzheimer’s: Sleep, drink wine and exercise, researchers say

Alzheimer’s disease is projected to affect 14 million people by 2050, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. >> Read more trending news  In Georgia alone, the number of deaths from Alzheimer's has increased by 201 percent since 2000, according to Georgia Health News...
Herpes claims against Usher heading to trial in Los Angeles, judge rules

Herpes claims against Usher heading to trial in Los Angeles, judge rules

A California judge has ruled that all herpes claims against R&B singer Usher (real name Usher Raymond IV) will be tried in Los Angeles Superior Court, where it is illegal to knowingly or recklessly transmit a sexually transmitted disease. >> Read more trending news  The artist is accused of not disclosing his herpes diagnosis to three sexual partners. One of the women, identified as Jane...
Chicago-area hospitals aim to boost transplants with ‘lung in a box’

Chicago-area hospitals aim to boost transplants with ‘lung in a box’

CHICAGO — Emphysema crept up on Bob Falat, gradually robbing him of his ability to breathe. The Lockport man, 72, had to use oxygen day and night after smoking for nearly 40 years — a habit he now calls the worst thing he’s ever done. He was on the waiting list for a lung transplant, but he wasn’t sure he’d survive long enough to get it. That’s when his doctors...
VA turns to foster care for veterans instead of nursing homes

VA turns to foster care for veterans instead of nursing homes

Ralph Stepney’s home on a quiet street in north Baltimore has a welcoming front porch and large rooms, with plenty of space for his comfortable recliner and vast collection of action movies. The house is owned by Joann West, a licensed caregiver who shares it with Stepney and his fellow Vietnam War veteran Frank Hundt. “There is no place that I’d rather be. … I love the quiet...
Lung cancer rates in younger white and Hispanic women top those of men

Lung cancer rates in younger white and Hispanic women top those of men

Reversing a historic trend, rates of lung cancer among younger white and Hispanic women have surpassed those of men - and the change cannot be fully explained by gender differences in smoking behavior, researchers said Wednesday. Previous research pointed to shifts in the incidence of lung cancer, with rates creeping up among some groups of women. The new study, published in the New England Journal...
How two tech guys teamed up to save maternity costs for women, doctors

How two tech guys teamed up to save maternity costs for women, doctors

I believe in being lucky. I also believe you make your luck. Entrepreneur Juan Pablo Segura volunteered for several years at a summer camp for kids with neuromuscular disease. He was sharing a beer after the fourth year with a friend from the camp who has muscular dystrophy. The buddy said something that changed Segura’s life. “He tells me how genetics and big data are going to transform...
Record 172 children killed by flu this season, highest number in more than a decade

Record 172 children killed by flu this season, highest number in more than a decade

Between October and May, 172 children died from the flu, according to new numbers released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the deadliest single flu season for children since the government began keeping track of pediatric deaths in 2004, excluding pandemics. >> Read more trending news   Until now, the 2012-2013 flu season was the worst, killing 171...
Salmonella outbreak spreading, 60 people sickened in 8 states from precut melon, fruit salads

Salmonella outbreak spreading, 60 people sickened in 8 states from precut melon, fruit salads

A salmonella outbreak that has sickened 61 people in eight states is linked to precut honeydew melon, cantaloupe, watermelon and fresh-cut fruit medley products sold in at least 10 grocery stores, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. >> Read more trending news  The contaminated fruit products were produced at the Caito Foods facility in Indianapolis, Indiana...
How you can spot the signs of suicide

How you can spot the signs of suicide

The news of Anthony Bourdain’s and Kate Spade’s deaths has been a sobering reminder that depression and suicide cut across all demographics. “Depression and mental illness do not discriminate …. it’s like cancer,” said Karen Ranus, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Austin. What is shocking about this news, she said, is that Bourdain...
How to spot the warning signs of suicide, after deaths of Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain

How to spot the warning signs of suicide, after deaths of Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain

The news of Anthony Bourdain’s and Kate Spade’s deaths has been a sobering reminder that depression and suicide cut across all demographics. “Depression and mental illness do not discriminate …. it’s like cancer,” says Karen Ranus, the executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Austin. What is shocking about this news...
U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul’s latest childhood cancer bill signed into law

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul’s latest childhood cancer bill signed into law

An effort by U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, to expand funding for pediatric cancer research and treatment culminated this week with President Donald Trump signing the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research, or STAR, Act into law. The bipartisan measure — introduced by McCaul — allocates up to $30 million annually to establish a national childhood cancer registry...
Baby teeth could be predictor of autism, study suggests

Baby teeth could be predictor of autism, study suggests

Scientists have determined there is no one cause of autism. In fact, there may be several, and a recent examination of baby teeth may have helped them identity another, according to a new report.  » RELATED: Can taking folic acid lower the risk of autism? New studies suggest it may help Researchers from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City recently conducted a study...
‘We are not immune’: How the opioid crisis is hitting Central Texas

‘We are not immune’: How the opioid crisis is hitting Central Texas

Robert got introduced to opioids the way many people do — from a bottle of prescription pain medication in his home medicine cabinet that a doctor gave his father to help with his kidney stones. He was a junior at McNeil High School. The progression was predictable: hydrocodone, OxyContin, then heroin. Now a 21-year-old college junior, Robert did not want to share his last name because he is...
Delaware Burger King temporarily closed after video shows rodents in bag of buns

Delaware Burger King temporarily closed after video shows rodents in bag of buns

A Delaware Burger King is facing a whopper of a problem after a now-viral video captured unwelcome four-legged guests frolicking in a bag of buns. >> Read more trending news  According to KYW-TV, state health officials have temporarily closed a Wilmington location of the popular fast food chain after a video of rodents scurrying across the rolls circulated on Facebook last week. "Don't...
More than 11 million Americans prescribed wrong dose of common drugs, scientists say

More than 11 million Americans prescribed wrong dose of common drugs, scientists say

More than 11 million people in the United States may have been given the wrong prescription dose for common drugs, according to scientists from the Stanford University School of Medicine. >> Read more trending news  The researchers analyzed the reliability of updated pooled cohort equations, guidelines often used as online web tools that help doctors determine a patient’s risk...
Texas spends $30M on overtime, contract labor at homes for disabled

Texas spends $30M on overtime, contract labor at homes for disabled

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission spent almost $30 million in seven months on overtime and contract labor at its institutions for people with disabilities because the state can’t find enough people to work at them. The cost of overtime pay and contract labor will likely hit $50 million this fiscal year, for the third year in a row. Union officials say that raising wages for entry-level...
Disney to donate $100 million to children’s hospitals worldwide

Disney to donate $100 million to children’s hospitals worldwide

Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck brought Disney Magic Monday to those who could probably need it the most - patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Along with well wishes and smiles for patients and their families, Disney characters, accompanied by CEO Bob Iger, came bearing gifts of toys for the children, KABC reported. It was part of Disney’s initiative to donate $100 million worth...
Parents, how you talk about weight can lead to an eating disorder, study finds

Parents, how you talk about weight can lead to an eating disorder, study finds

Parents, what you say to your kids about their bodies matters, especially when it comes to eating disorders.  A study in the Journal of Adolescent Health found a strong relationship between girls at age 14 that had been labeled as “fat” especially by their family members and girls who developed a eating disorder in the next five years. “It has a greater...
CDC: 5 dead, close to 200 sick in worst E. coli outbreak since 2006

CDC: 5 dead, close to 200 sick in worst E. coli outbreak since 2006

Four additional people died and hundreds fell ill after an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday. >> Read more trending news  Victims of the illness died in California, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Minnesota and New York, the CDC reported. The update came two weeks after the agency deemed romaine lettuce...
Get right beat for CPR using ‘La Macarena’ or smartphone app, study says

Get right beat for CPR using ‘La Macarena’ or smartphone app, study says

Could the song “La Macarena” be the key to saving a life? A new study out of Spain says that either a song like “La Macarena” or a smartphone app to time chest compressions during cardiopulmonary resuscitation could be the answer. The study was authored by professor Enrique Carrero Cardenal and his colleagues at the University of Barcelona, Hospital Clinic Barcelona...
PolitiFact: Texas is most uninsured state in America

PolitiFact: Texas is most uninsured state in America

Lupe Valdez, the former Dallas County sheriff nominated for governor by Texas Democrats, says health care will get much-needed attention once she’s in charge. Valdez was quoted in a New York Times news story as saying: “One in six Texans don’t have health care. We’re the most uninsured state in the U.S.” It’s an exaggeration, we’d suggest, to say that all...
Unnecessary and accidental use of ADHD drugs on the rise, study finds

Unnecessary and accidental use of ADHD drugs on the rise, study finds

An American Academy of Pediatrics study published recently revealed that the rate of adolescent exposure to ADHD medication reported to U.S. poison control centers increased 71.2 percent from 2000 to 2011, with a 6.2 percent decrease from 2011 to 2014. Exposure could include children finding and ingesting the medication, accidental dosage errors or an intentional overdose for the purpose of getting...
Your outdated sunscreen exposes you to needless cancer risk

Your outdated sunscreen exposes you to needless cancer risk

Dermatologist Steve Wang treats skin-cancer patients all day at a Sloan Kettering hospital in New Jersey, so he knows better than most that U.S. sunscreens aren’t up to the job. The oily stuff Americans are slathering on before heading to the beach this summer probably won’t give them as much protection as the products sold in other countries. Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada: All have...
Lack of insurance exposes blind spots in vision care

Lack of insurance exposes blind spots in vision care

Every day, a school bus drops off as many as 45 children at a community eye clinic on Chicago’s South Side. Many of them are referred to the clinic after failing vision screenings at their public schools. Clinicians and students from the Illinois College of Optometry give the children comprehensive eye exams, which feature refraction tests to determine a correct prescription for eyeglasses and...
Remember AIDS? New treatments now being used in prevention

Remember AIDS? New treatments now being used in prevention

Thirty-five years ago we were listening to Duran Duran and Madonna, watching movies like “Return of the Jedi” and “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” and we were beginning to hear about a disease that made sex deadly. For a whole generation, the 1980s will be remembered for all those things: great action movies and comedies, pop music and AIDS. Now...
'Dance Moms' star Abby Lee Miller confirms battle with cancer

'Dance Moms' star Abby Lee Miller confirms battle with cancer

Former “Dance Moms” reality TV star Abby Lee Miller finished her federal prison sentence, but now she has a much tougher trial ahead. Miller, who was released on Friday from a federal reentry center after serving most of a 366-day sentence for bankruptcy fraud, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma last month, according to People magazine, which also reported she...
Twins born Memorial Day weekend celebrate 'cookout style' in adorable costumes

Twins born Memorial Day weekend celebrate 'cookout style' in adorable costumes

Twins born at Pittsburgh's Washington Health System Washington Hospital over Memorial Day weekend were dressed to impress. >> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news  The hospital wrote on Facebook: "We know everyone was honoring the brave men and women that have served and sacrificed for our country on Memorial Day with cookouts and spending time with...
Birth control pill recall: Taytulla packaging error could lead to unintended pregnancy

Birth control pill recall: Taytulla packaging error could lead to unintended pregnancy

Drugmaker Allergan has issued a recall for a popular birth control pill over a packaging error that could lead to unintended pregnancy. According to a news release Tuesday, Allergan is recalling one lot of Taytulla birth control pills because capsules were placed in the wrong order. The recalled products are from lot No. 5620706 and have a May 2019 expiration date. "Allergan recently identified...
Copperhead snake bites 6-year-old boy on family trip

Copperhead snake bites 6-year-old boy on family trip

A family trip to Georgia's Lake Burton over the weekend turned terrifying for a Fulton County family after a copperhead snake bit their 6-year-old son, Ford. The boy was throwing rocks near the water and some bushes when, he said, he got too close to a hidden 2-foot-long snake. "I didn't know it, but the snake was inside the bush, and the snake popped out, and it bit me on the pinkie...
An Austin doctor goes head over heels for high design

An Austin doctor goes head over heels for high design

Head northwest on Bee Caves Road. Past Barton Creek Boulevard. Past One World Theatre. As you come around a gentle curve, a large white building comes into view on the left. A deep arcade shades an entrance below; a rotunda lets in light above. Is it a boutique resort hotel? A modern mosque? An oversize home for a tech billionaire? Nope. It’s the headquarters for Westlake Dermatology, which...
Commentary: Shooting spotlights need for teen mental health screening

Commentary: Shooting spotlights need for teen mental health screening

When you take your 15-year-old son for a physical exam, the pediatrician goes through a standard procedure – checks his weight, measures his height, takes his blood pressure. But typically, he will not be asked about his mood or whether he ever wants to hurt himself. As a psychiatrist, I can’t help but question this practice. Teens are more likely to be depressed than have hypertension...
Summer heat means preparing for disease-carrying mosquitoes, ticks

Summer heat means preparing for disease-carrying mosquitoes, ticks

Mosquitoes and ticks are moving in for the summer as temperatures heat up, but Central Texas residents can take precautions. Why are they here? Mosquitoes and ticks like warm weather. Chris Van Deusen, spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said mosquitoes are more likely to breed now that temperatures are at least 90 degrees. Do they carry any diseases? Yes. Some mosquitoes...
Younger white and Hispanic women more likely to get lung cancer than men, study finds

Younger white and Hispanic women more likely to get lung cancer than men, study finds

Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer, with an estimated 154,050 deaths projected for 2018, according to the National Cancer Institute. Unfortunately, some groups are more likely to be diagnosed than others. >> Read more trending news  Researchers from the NCH and American Cancer Society recently conducted a study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, to find...
Antidepressants may be linked to  obesity, study says

Antidepressants may be linked to  obesity, study says

A poor diet and lack of exercise can contribute to obesity. However, antidepressants may also play a role, according to a new report. >> Read more trending news  Researchers from health institutions in Europe recently conducted a study, published in the BMJ journal, to determine the link between antidepressants and weight gain.  To do so, they analyzed 295,000 people from the...

In the teenage brain: rapidly changing circuitry explains a lot

“Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain” by Sarah-Jayne Blakemore —- Teenagers! They chew Tide Pods and have unprotected sex. They use social media we haven’t even heard of and are walking hormone machines. It’s easy to mock their outsize sense of self and their seemingly dumb decisions. But not so fast, says cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore...
Why kids and teens may face far more anxiety these days

Why kids and teens may face far more anxiety these days

When it comes to treating anxiety in children and teens, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are the bane of therapists’ work. “With (social media), it’s all about the self-image - who’s ‘liking’ them, who’s watching them, who clicked on their picture,” said Marco Grados, associate professor of psychiatry and clinical director of child and adolescent psychiatry...
Pollution exposure in pregnancy linked to high blood pressure in kids

Pollution exposure in pregnancy linked to high blood pressure in kids

High blood pressure typically occurs in adulthood, so when children develop the condition, it often means something is very wrong. A child might have kidney disease, hyperthyroidism or a heart problem. Obesity can also be a factor. But what about seemingly healthy youngsters whose blood pressure has shot up? Their risk, a study suggests, may trace back to before their birth. In a paper published recently...
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