Health

‘Moderate’ drinking guidelines are too loose, study says

‘Moderate’ drinking guidelines are too loose, study says

A sweeping international study of alcohol consumption has found no overall health benefits from moderate drinking and calls into question the U.S. guidelines that say men can safely drink twice as much as women. The threshold for low-risk drinking, the researchers found, is about seven beers a week for men and women alike. The new report, published Thursday in the Lancet and boasting 120 co-authors...
How a fringe idea to solve the opioid crisis turned mainstream

How a fringe idea to solve the opioid crisis turned mainstream

The idea that a someone who’s not a medical professional could reverse deadly drug overdoses by injecting victims with an antidote was once fringe. Now it’s widely accepted - and got even stronger backing this month with a rare announcement from the U.S. surgeon general. Jerome Adams urged Americans to consider getting trained to administer naloxone, a drug used broadly by first responders...
Dietary Supplements: What we need to know

Dietary Supplements: What we need to know

I was at a national conference in 1994 (yes, I’m that old) when a speaker from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told us big changes were on the way in the field of dietary supplements. How right she was. The 1994 Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act (DSHEA) removed dietary supplements from the strict scrutiny of the FDA, the agency that regulates the safety and effectiveness...
Home-delivered meals might reduce ER visits, study suggests

Home-delivered meals might reduce ER visits, study suggests

Delivering meals to vulnerable sick people might be a simple way to cut back on emergency room visits and hospitalizations, reining in some of the costliest kinds of medical care, according to a new Health Affairs study. Low-income seniors or disabled younger people who received home-delivered meals - particularly meals designed by a dietitian for that person’s specific medical needs - had fewer...
Travis County opioid drug overdoses on the rise, 2006-16 data show

Travis County opioid drug overdoses on the rise, 2006-16 data show

The rate of opioid overdose deaths in Travis County, including those from heroin and prescription pain medication, nearly doubled from 2006 to 2016, according to data released by the Austin Public Health Department. In 2006, Travis County averaged four deaths per 100,000 residents. The rated jumped to 7.5 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2016. The figures, from a report in the latest edition of the...
Immunotherapy plus chemo doubles lung cancer survival, study says

Immunotherapy plus chemo doubles lung cancer survival, study says

Chemotherapy and radiation are common treatments for lung cancer. However, immunotherapy may be able to help double a patient’s survival, according to a new report. Researchers from New York University’s Perlmutter Cancer Center recently conducted a study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, to determine which treatments were most effective for those newly diagnosed...
University of Texas School of Nursing looking for participants in two studies on sleep and Alzheimer’s disease

University of Texas School of Nursing looking for participants in two studies on sleep and Alzheimer’s disease

University of Texas School of Nursing is enrolling patients in two different studies that look at Alzheimer’s disease and sleep. Kathy Richards, research professor and senior research scientist, has been interested in the possible connection between the two for decades. She’s heading both studies at UT. University of Texas School of Nursing research professor and...
College students create app making it easier to track diabetes

College students create app making it easier to track diabetes

When it comes to diabetes, the numbers are staggering -- 30 million Americans are estimated to be living with the disease, 1.4 million new cases are diagnosed annually in the United States and about 25 percent of those patients don’t know they have the disease. Those numbers caught the attention of some Harvard students who came up with an easy way for people to track their blood sugar levels...
Comfort care, palliative care, hospice care explained after Barbara Bush’s death

Comfort care, palliative care, hospice care explained after Barbara Bush’s death

On Monday, when it was announced that first lady Barbara Bush was choosing “comfort care,” many people wondered what that meant. What’s the difference between “comfort care” and palliative care, and what about hospice care? Bush, who died Tuesday and whose funeral will be Saturday in Houston, caused people to talk about end-of-life care and the ...
Bat at Wimberley school tests positive for rabies

Bat at Wimberley school tests positive for rabies

A bat found at a Wimberley school on Monday tested positive for rabies, the Hays County sheriff’s office said.  Deputies responded to a report of a dead bat at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School on RM 3237. The bat was found around 1:30 p.m. in an outdoor breezeway near a set of lockers, deputies said. The Department of State Health Services examined the bat and found that it tested...
Travis County opioid drug overdoses on the rise, 2006-2016 data show

Travis County opioid drug overdoses on the rise, 2006-2016 data show

Travis County from 2006 to 2016 saw a steady uptick in drug overdose deaths, including those from heroin and prescription pain medication, according to data released this week by the Austin Public Health Department. Drug overdoses have killed an average of 127 people each year in Travis County in the period studied, the health department said. An average of 53 deaths, or 42 percent, resulted...
Williamson County approves hospital payments for indigent health care

Williamson County approves hospital payments for indigent health care

Williamson County commissioners have approved collecting an estimated $30 million per year in mandatory payments from area hospitals to help pay for indigent care. The county’s nine hospitals will be paying 3.89 percent of their net revenue per year for the program for needy patients. The federal government will match every dollar the county collects with approximately $2, said Carlos Zaffirini...
Bat in Manor tests positive for rabies

Bat in Manor tests positive for rabies

A Mexican free-tailed bat tested positive for rabies Monday in Manor, the city’s officials said. A resident found the bat, picked it up and put it in a shoebox, Manor police said. A Manor police animal control officer was dispatched to the bat in the 300 block of West Eggleston Street in Old Town Manor. Animal Control officials said people should not touch bats they find.  Manor Animal...
Report: Teen pregnancy rate 5 times higher among Texas foster youth

Report: Teen pregnancy rate 5 times higher among Texas foster youth

The 2015 pregnancy rate among Texas teens in the foster care system was almost five times higher than the pregnancy rate for girls not in foster care, according to a report released Monday by Austin nonprofit Texans Care for Children. Researchers with the organization used state Medicaid data to determine that 5.7 percent of girls between 13 and 17 in the foster system became pregnant compared with...
More seeking mental health care, but psychiatrists are in short supply

More seeking mental health care, but psychiatrists are in short supply

CHICAGO — Medical student Mila Grossman had just begun her first clinical rotation when she started to get an idea of what kind of doctor she wanted to be. Working at a women’s mental health clinic, she met a new mom who appeared put-together but inwardly suffered from painful postpartum depression. Grossman decided to pursue psychiatry, and is among a growing share of medical students...
Noninvasive stimulation device can help prevent migraine attacks

Noninvasive stimulation device can help prevent migraine attacks

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — A migraine is much more than just a bad headache. Migraine symptoms, which can be debilitating for many people, are the sixth leading cause of disability, according to the World Health Organization. While there is no cure, a new study published in Cephalalgia journal in March shows single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation is a new way to prevent migraine attacks. It&rsquo...
Genetic testing for breast cancer risk

Genetic testing for breast cancer risk

Dear Mayo Clinic: I recently was diagnosed with breast cancer at 65. I have a strong family history of the disease. However, my doctor hasn’t mentioned genetic counseling or testing. Is this something I should bring up? A: Only about 5 to 10 percent of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary, meaning that they result directly from gene defects (mutations) passed on from a parent. For...
7 great sources of protein that aren't meat or animal products

7 great sources of protein that aren't meat or animal products

"You're vegetarian? How do you get your protein?" It's a question vegetarians (and vegans) are asked over and over again. While meat and other animal products are common sources of protein for much of the population, there are countless protein options for those on a plant-based diet, too. » RELATED: These protein powders are toxic to your health, study says Scientific evidence...
How to manage your spring allergies

How to manage your spring allergies

Spring is in the air, literally.  Over the next few days, many parts of the country may experience high pollen levels. Dr. Castellaw with the Baptist Medical Group said, “This is probably one of the worst allergy seasons that we have seen in years.” Castellaw said the signs are clear to see and even easier to feel. “If the drainage from your nose and things that you're coughing...
Bids sought as parents call for a nurse at every Austin ISD school

Bids sought as parents call for a nurse at every Austin ISD school

Months after an advisory committee recommended the Austin school district put a licensed medical professional on every campus, school officials now are seeking a new provider to offer such comprehensive student health care services. The district on Tuesday issued a request for proposals for nursing and mental health services to “improve on the services we provide today.” But it is unclear...
E.Coli outbreak in 11 states linked to chopped romaine lettuce

E.Coli outbreak in 11 states linked to chopped romaine lettuce

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have linked store-bought chopped romaine lettuce from a growing area in Yuma, Arizona, to an E.coli outbreak that has sickened dozens of people in 11 states, the agency reported Friday. >> Read more trending news  Twenty-two people have been hospitalized, including three who developed a type of kidney failure, according to the CDC. The...
Grasping Manos de Cristo and Ballet Austin

Grasping Manos de Cristo and Ballet Austin

The invocation at the Manos de Cristo gala snuck up on me. My mind wandered a bit — in a good way — during a biblical reading from Luke. Then it closed with a punch: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Carlos and Sara Galindo at Manos de Cristo 30th Anniversary Gala. Michael...
Woman embalmed alive, given formaldehyde instead of saline in routine surgery

Woman embalmed alive, given formaldehyde instead of saline in routine surgery

A woman in western Russia lost her life in what should have been a routine surgery for ovarian cysts when hospital staff gave her a solution containing formaldehyde instead of saline, according to several Russian news agencies. >> Read more trending news  It happened last month in the city of Ulyanovsk when Ekaterina Fedyaeva, 28, went in for a laparoscopic operation to remove the cysts...
As teacher health costs rise, Texas hasn’t increased its share

As teacher health costs rise, Texas hasn’t increased its share

Seven years ago, health insurance premiums and deductibles were so high for San Marcos teacher Susan Seaton that she said she couldn’t afford her diabetes medication and she had a stroke. This year, because of changes in her benefits under the only health insurance plan she can afford through the state, she’s spacing out her rheumatoid arthritis injections to make the medication last longer...
Study: Number of Texas women dying in childbirth was overreported

Study: Number of Texas women dying in childbirth was overreported

A startling data point that showed Texas had the highest maternal mortality rate in the nation in 2012 and prompted increased legislative focus on the issue last year was actually incorrect, according to a study published Monday. A 2016 study published in the medical journal Obstetrics and Gynecology said that in 2012, Texas reported that 147 women died during pregnancy or up to 42 days after delivery...
Death of loved one during pregnancy may affect child's mental health, study says

Death of loved one during pregnancy may affect child's mental health, study says

Grieving the death of a loved one can affect an entire family, including babies. In fact, losing a relative during pregnancy may affect the mental health of a child later in life, according to a new report. Researchers from Stanford University recently conducted a study, published in the American Economic Review, to determine the effect a family member’s death may have on...
Breast cancer patients may help boost survival chances by building muscle, study says

Breast cancer patients may help boost survival chances by building muscle, study says

Chemotherapy and radiation are common treatments for breast cancer. However, building muscle may also help boost chances of survival, according to a new report.  Researchers from Kaiser Permanente recently conducted a study, published in JAMA Oncology, to determine the association between muscle quality and the disease.  To do so, they examined 3,241 women from Kaiser...
Flu season is Travis County’s deadliest on record, data shows

Flu season is Travis County’s deadliest on record, data shows

Austin resident João Paulo Connolly was in St. David’s Medical Center’s intensive care unit for 10 days, unable to breathe on his own, and it started with the flu. “At first, I just had a light fever and was a little tired,” Connolly said. “I thought I could just take some vitamins and get some extra sleep. But over a period of two days it went from mildly bad...
Male OB-GYNs are in decline, stirring debate

Male OB-GYNs are in decline, stirring debate

Some patients wait until Dr. Jerome Chelliah snaps on his gloves to make the request. Others blurt it out as soon as he walks in the exam room. “I’d rather see a female doctor,” they say. Chelliah thinks he can be a sensitive obstetrician-gynecologist even though he’s a man. But he has no choice but to comply. “I’ve been rejected many times over,” he said...
New UCSD flu discovery could block illness entirely

New UCSD flu discovery could block illness entirely

Scientists led by a UC San Diego chemist reported progress recently in researching a universal flu drug, effective regardless of the strain. Seth Cohen, a UCSD professor and co-founder of San Diego’s Forge Therapeutics, said the drug inhibits a critical viral enzyme by jamming molecular machinery common to all strains. It could reduce the flu’s severity or perhaps block it completely....
Practicing mindfulness can improve your well-being

Practicing mindfulness can improve your well-being

What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the act of being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling at every moment — without interpretation or judgment. Spending too much time planning, problem-solving, daydreaming, or thinking negative or random thoughts can be draining. It can also make you more likely to experience stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression. Practicing mindfulness...
Can timing of meals help with weight loss, prevent disease?

Can timing of meals help with weight loss, prevent disease?

This is a story about the importance of good timing. Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. This excess weight contributes to a variety of health problems. Despite enormous effort over decades, the problem has proved extremely difficult to solve. Biologist Satchin Panda thinks we’re missing a key variable: Instead of focusing so much on what we eat, he says, we should pay more attention...
Sid Miller put ex-doctor with 2 revoked licenses on rural health panel

Sid Miller put ex-doctor with 2 revoked licenses on rural health panel

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller in late 2016 appointed to the state’s Rural Health Task Force a former physician and Miller campaign donor who had his medical license revoked or suspended in three states. In Iowa, Rick Ray Redalen’s medical license was first suspended when he was convicted of perjury in a case involving his marriage to his 15-year-old former stepdaughter. The...
Food allergies may be linked to baby wipes, study says

Food allergies may be linked to baby wipes, study says

Does your child suffer from food allergies? Baby wipes may be the cause, according to a new report. Researchers from Northwestern University recently conducted a study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, to determine the environmental and genetic factors associated with the allergy. To do so, they examined clinical evidence on food allergies. They learned that 35 percent...
Tourniquet training seeks to equip civilians for disasters

Tourniquet training seeks to equip civilians for disasters

As the frequency of mass shootings across the country continues to rise, some doctors are recommending that civilians be trained in how to apply tourniquets to victims in disaster situations. The tourniquet has been around since the Middle Ages, and it has been used in both battles and surgeries to stop heavy blood flow from extremities. If properly applied, doctors say, tourniquets can create enough...
Want to reduce stress in just five days? Quit Facebook, study finds

Want to reduce stress in just five days? Quit Facebook, study finds

If you’re looking for ways to eliminate stress from your life, there’s a simple solution. Try quitting Facebook, a new report suggests. >> Read more trending news  Researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia recently conducted a small study, published in the Journal of Social Science, to determine how the social media service affects mental health. ...
Obamacare sign-ups slip in Austin area; strong economy likely a factor

Obamacare sign-ups slip in Austin area; strong economy likely a factor

Enrollment in health insurance plans for 2018 under the Affordable Care Act slipped from 2017 in the Austin metro area but still reached about 85 percent of last year’s total, despite a sign-up period that was half as long and widespread confusion over the fate of the law. Statewide, enrollment came in at about 92 percent of the 2017 number, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and...
Physical activity could improve your happiness, study says

Physical activity could improve your happiness, study says

It’s no secret that exercise can have positive impacts on your body. Now scientists have discovered that it might also boost your happiness, according to a new report.  » RELATED: America is getting unhappier, UN global report finds Researchers from the University of Michigan recently conducted an assessment, published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, to determine the...
Add this common snack to your diet to help avoid heart attacks, study suggests

Add this common snack to your diet to help avoid heart attacks, study suggests

Looking for ways to improve your heart health? Munching on nuts and seeds could lower your cardiovascular disease risk, according to a new report. Researchers from Loma Linda University in California recently conducted a study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, to determine which foods may contribute to heart disease risk, which can lead to high blood pressure, cardiac arrest...
Oak pollen counts are up in Austin but experts say it should decline

Oak pollen counts are up in Austin but experts say it should decline

If you’re scrubbing a film of yellow gunk off your car windshield while simultaneously wiping and sniffling your nose, you might be suffering from spring allergies — and the major culprit right now: oak pollen. It’s the time of year when deciduous trees, such as oak, elm and cottonwood, begin flowering and the wind spreads tree pollen, which can appear as a fine residue in the air...
St. David’s HealthCare acquires Austin Diagnostic Clinic

St. David’s HealthCare acquires Austin Diagnostic Clinic

One of the largest physicians groups in Central Texas is under new ownership. St. David’s HealthCare said Wednesday that it had acquired Austin Diagnostic Clinic. Terms of the sale, which closed Sunday, were not disclosed. Austin Diagnostic Clinic will keep its name, executives said, while aligning its 700 employees – including 154 doctors – with St. David’s HealthCare. &ldquo...
Midlife 'wealth shock' may lead to death, study suggests 

Midlife 'wealth shock' may lead to death, study suggests 

A big financial loss may shorten your life, a new study suggests. Middle-aged Americans who experienced a sudden, large economic blow were more likely to die during the following years than those who didn't. The heightened danger of death after a devastating loss, which researchers called a "wealth shock," crossed socio-economic lines, affecting people no matter how much money they had to...
Pasta could help you lose weight, study says

Pasta could help you lose weight, study says

Do you avoid pasta when attempting to drop pounds? Don’t do away with the dish just yet, because it has been linked to weight loss, according to a new report. Researchers from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada, recently conducted a study, published in the BMJ Open journal, to determine how the Italian staple affects our health. To do so, they took a look at 30 trials that...
Do you and your kids know how to wash their hands? Here’s the CDC’s how-to

Do you and your kids know how to wash their hands? Here’s the CDC’s how-to

I know, I know. Of course, we know how to wash our hands. Do you?  Teacher Caitlin McColl helps Drew Pitts, 2, wash his hands. Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman 2012 Do you know what to do if you’re in a place (ie changing baby’s diaper in the back of the minivan) that doesn’t have running water. If you do have running water and soap, follow the ...
STAR Flight sees higher payouts since August fee bump

STAR Flight sees higher payouts since August fee bump

Tracy Velek and her late husband were living in Rockne, an unincorporated community in Bastrop County, in 2014 when he suffered a heart attack and first responders decided to airlift him to an Austin hospital. Doctors were unable to save him, and weeks later, a bill for about $25,000 arrived in the mail. Velek’s insurance covered $17,000 of it, but the remainder was left for her to pay out of...
Health care providers seek more funds to transport low-income patients

Health care providers seek more funds to transport low-income patients

Three months into a pilot program, Austin health care providers are looking for more funding to deliver patients to and from medical appointments with a local ride-share company. Community Care Collaborative, Central Health’s nonprofit partnership with Seton Healthcare Family, has partnered with RideAustin to provide free transportation to and from appointments for patients who can’t afford...
Take this app and call me in the morning

Take this app and call me in the morning

Health tech companies are making a big push to digitize medicine, introducing novel tools like digital pills that track when patients take their drugs and smart spoons that can automatically adjust to hand tremors. Now they want some patients to get prescription treatments from the app store as well. Later this year, doctors treating patients addicted to substances like cocaine and amphetamines will...
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