Health: News, features, tips and alerts to keep you healthy - Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

U.S. deaths due to high blood pressure keep rising

The overall death rate from high blood pressure in the United States has increased 23 percent since 2000, even as the death rate from all other causes has dropped 21 percent, health officials reported Thursday. More>>

Could smoggy air raise your anxiety level?

Air pollution may take a toll not only on physical health, but mental well-being as well, two new studies suggest. More>>

School dismissal a dangerous time for kids getting hit by cars

Children are at greatest risk of being hit by a car at the end of the school day, as well as in the evening, a new study finds. More>>

Smog plus pollen may mean even more sneezing

Certain air pollutants may boost the potency of a birch tree pollen that plays a big role in seasonal allergies, researchers say. More>>

Employers contributing less to workers' health savings accounts / Stefan Klein / Stefan Klein

U.S. workers got less help socking away savings for medical expenses from their employers in 2014 than the prior year, a new study finds. More>>

Athletes need to guard against skin woes

Sprains and fractures aren't the only hazards athletes face. Certain skin problems are also common among sports enthusiasts. More>>

Many with Alzheimer's aren't told of diagnosis by doctor

Doctors are not telling a majority of their patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's that they have the degenerative brain disease, a new report shows. More>>

Colorado's legal pot is potent, and a little dirty

New lab tests on Colorado's legal marijuana suggest that the state's weed supply is more potent than ever, and also a little dirty. More>>

Parents' attitude may be key to pre-game jitters in kids

Want your child to relax and perform well at that next school swim meet? Try not to raise the bar too high in terms of your own expectations, a new study suggests. More>>

Green space in cities may soothe the heart

Turning vacant lots into attractive green plots may make life less stressful for city residents, a new study suggests. More>>

For safety's sake: A young star player quits pro football...

Medical science has shown that football can take a terrible toll on the human brain, with repeated hits to the head potentially adding up to brain damage later in life. More>>

'Ground zero' workers at risk of autoimmune diseases

Recovery workers who toiled at the World Trade Center disaster site may face a heightened risk of rheumatoid arthritis and similar autoimmune diseases, a new study suggests. More>>

L.A. law curbing fast food didn't cut obesity rates

A Los Angeles law that restricts the opening of new fast food restaurants in poor areas has not lowered obesity rates among people who live in those neighborhoods, a new study finds. More>>

Plain packaging laws might spur smokers to quit

Legislation that strips cigarette packaging of all brand-specific design may boost the number of smokers who want to try quitting, a new Australian survey reveals. More>>

Breast-fed babies may be smarter, richer adults

Breast-fed babies may be smarter, better educated and richer as adults, a new study by Brazilian researchers suggests. More>>

Good sleep is key to good sex

Women looking to jump-start their sex life may want to spend more time in bed. More>>

Obesity raises women's cancer risk by 40 percent

Obesity takes a huge toll on health, and a new British study finds that obese women have a 40 percent higher risk for cancer than thinner women. More>>

Diet sodas linked to widening waistlines in seniors

A new study has linked drinking diet sodas to increasing waistlines in seniors. More>>

More sex, better testosterone levels?

Experts have long assumed that as a man's testosterone level declines, so does his sex life. But a new study suggests the reverse may be true. More>>

Spring allergies coming into bloom

With winter loosening its icy grip on most of the United States, it's time to think about spring allergies, a doctor says. More>>

Could the future be finger-stick free for diabetics?

A lot of excitement surrounded the announcement from Apple that its new watch will be able to monitor blood sugar levels. Has Apple figured out a way for folks with diabetes to check their blood sugar without the dreaded... More>>

Teens' heavy pot smoking tied to memory problems

Teenagers who smoke marijuana daily may have lingering memory problems and structural abnormalities in the brain, even after they stop using the drug, a small study suggests. More>>

Are liberals happier than conservatives?

Offering a fresh spin on the red-blue political divide, new research suggests that Americans who lean liberal may be a little bit happier than their conservative counterparts. More>>

More Americans support vaccines

In the wake of the measles outbreak that has generated headlines for months, more Americans now say they have positive feelings toward childhood vaccinations, according to a new HealthDay/Harris Poll. More>>

Some emotions may spur urge to pick or pull at skin, hair, nails

Boredom, frustration and impatience can trigger chronic skin-picking, nail-biting, hair-pulling and other repetitive behaviors in some people. More>>

Perhaps Genghis Khan's greatest legacy: Millions of descendants

He helped build an empire stretching across Eurasia, but Genghis Khan's most enduring legacy may be genetic, a new study suggests. More>>

Brainpower peaks in different ways as people age

For everyone over 40 who fears that their mind is slowly failing them, a new study suggests that older brains are better than younger brains in some ways. More>>

Young, rural Americans at greater risk of suicide

Young people who live in rural areas of the United States die by suicide nearly twice as often as those who live in cities, a new study finds. More>>

Overindulgent parents may breed narcissistic children

Kids who think too highly of themselves likely developed their narcissism because their parents put them on a pedestal and doled out unearned praise, a new study claims. More>>

Pneumonia in early childhood tied to higher odds of asthma

Children who contract pneumonia during the first three years of life appear to face a higher risk of developing asthma, new research suggests. More>>

Common antiseptic can prevent infant deaths

Using a low-cost antiseptic to clean the umbilical cords of babies born outside of a hospital lowers infant infection and death rates in developing countries, researchers say. More>>

Always sleepy after the change to daylight saving time?

You'll lose an hour's sleep overnight Saturday when the clocks spring ahead. But there are a number of things you can do to cope with the switch to daylight saving time, a sleep expert says. More>>

When one spouse exercises, the other may start, too

If you start an exercise program, it might inspire your spouse to do the same, a new study says. More>>

Many transplant surgeons suffer burnout

Many transplant surgeons in the United States suffer burnout, a new study reveals. More>>

14 percent of toddlers may be drinking coffee

Although they may just be learning how to say the word coffee, about one in seven 2-year-olds in Boston drinks the caffeinated beverage, a new study finds. More>>

About 7 percent of kids worldwide have ADHD

About 7 percent of children worldwide have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), new research concludes. More>>

In vitro births continue to rise in U.S.

More babies in the United States are being conceived by in vitro fertilization, a new report shows. More>>

Love coffee? Your heart may, too

Drinking three to five cups of coffee a day may reduce the risk of developing clogged arteries, which in turn might reduce the risk for heart attack, a new study suggests. More>>

Nuts may lengthen your life

Eating nuts, including peanuts and peanut butter, may help you live longer, a new study suggests. More>>

Doctors often yield to parents' requests to delay kids' vaccines

Doctors commonly get requests from parents to delay young children's vaccinations -- and despite their better judgment, they often give in, a new U.S. study finds. More>>

Study links recession to spike in suicides among middle-aged

The financial stress of the last recession likely contributed to a recent increase in suicides among middle-aged Americans, researchers report. More>>

Seasonal flu vaccine even less effective than thought

This year's flu vaccine is even more disappointing than previously reported, showing just 18 percent effectiveness against the dominant H3N2 strain of flu, U.S. health officials reported Thursday. More>>

U.S. Ebola survivor Dr. Craig Spencer gives his side of the story

Many U.S. politicians and media outlets hyped the threat of U.S. cases of Ebola last year, according to a newly written personal account by Dr. Craig Spencer, the last American Ebola patient treated in the United States. More>>

Could a bad night's sleep make you eat more fatty food?

Skipping just a single night of sleep leads to a shift in brain activity that seems to spark a desire to consume more fat the following day, a new study suggests. More>>

U.S. pedestrian death rate leveling off, but still too high

The number of pedestrians killed on U.S. roads is expected to remain unchanged from 2013 to 2014, according to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). More>>

Fewer Americans burdened by medical bills

The number of Americans struggling to pay medical bills has declined every year since 2011 and particularly since 2013, a new government report shows. More>>

Risk of violent crime rises with depression

People with depression might be more likely to commit a violent crime than those without depression, a new study suggests. More>>

What are the best healthcare options for your business? For now, there are four

Whether you support President Obama or not, whether you lean to the left or to the right, it doesn't matter: You need to figure out your plan for your business. And for now, I only see four options.


Use of long-acting birth control rises fivefold in a decade

The use of long-acting birth control methods such as IUDs or under-the-skin implants jumped fivefold between 2002 and 2011, according to a new U.S. government report. More>>

Host of factors influence baby's immune system

Numerous factors influence the makeup of bacteria in the digestive system, which then alters the immune system and changes susceptibility to allergies, researchers report. More>>

Could a dishwasher raise your child's allergy, asthma risk?

Hand washing dishes instead of using a machine to wash dishes may reduce children's risk of developing allergic conditions, such as asthma or eczema, according to a new study. More>>

A little fat, sugar ok for kids if diet is healthy

Cutting junk food from kids' diets is important, but if a little sugar and fat helps them eat their veggies, that's a good trade-off, a leading group of pediatricians says. More>>

Youtube videos of drunkenness don't show alcohol's harms

YouTube videos of drunkenness are popular, but fail to show the harms of too much drinking, a new study finds. More>>

Measles can rob a child's sight, doctors warn

In the midst of the current resurgence of measles across the United States, many people may still believe it's a harmless, transient disease. More>>

Healthy eating up worldwide, but unhealthy eating up even more

Although people around the world are eating more healthy foods, that positive trend has been outpaced by a rising consumption of unhealthy foods, a new study finds. More>>

Many LGBT medical students don't reveal sexual identity

Fear of discrimination is a major reason why about one-third of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) medical students stay "in the closet," new research finds. More>>

Sleep group updates shuteye guidelines

For the youngest and oldest, the National Sleep Foundation has new guidelines on what constitutes a good night's rest. More>>

Kids can get migraines too

Migraines aren't just a problem for adults -- about 6 percent of children and more than one-quarter of teens aged 15 to 17 have migraines, according to the American Migraine Foundation (AMF). More>>

U.S. teens getting less sleep than ever

American teens don't get enough sleep, and the problem has only gotten worse since the 1990s, new research shows. More>>

Pollution exposure peaks at stop lights

Drivers are exposed to very high levels of air pollution when they stop at red lights, a new study shows. More>>

What's in a name? Perhaps a mate, study of online dating suggests

As Valentine's Day approaches, here's a tip for those looking online for love: A new study suggests that having a screen name that starts with a letter in the first half of the alphabet might boost your chances for... More>>

Proposed dietary guidelines not a green light to eat what you want

People who follow a heart-healthy diet won't see much change in their eating habits if, as reported, this year's U.S. Dietary Guidelines report rescinds previous warnings against eating certain cholesterol-rich foods. More>>

Yoga gaining in popularity among Americans

Yoga is increasingly popular among U.S. adults and children, two new government surveys reveal. More>>

Unemployment may fuel a fifth of suicides worldwide

Being jobless may play a role in about one-fifth of suicides worldwide each year, a new study suggests. More>>

Preterm delivery linked to heart disease, stroke risk in mothers

Women who have a preterm baby may face an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, a preliminary study suggests. More>>

Does staring at screens all day really damage your eyes? We asked an expert

The amount of time we spend staring at screens has increased dramatically in the last few years.  More>>

Researchers identify 8 signs of impending death

Findings could help families prepare and aid in end-of-life care choices


Cities are getting hotter

The number of heat waves has risen over the past 40 years, particularly in urban areas, a new study says. More>>

Overly controlling moms lose out

Helicopter parents, take note: A mother has a better relationship with her child if she respects the youngster's need for independence at a young age, a new study suggests. More>>

Lyme disease more serious, costly than believed

Prolonged illness in Americans with Lyme disease is more widespread, serious and costly than previously believed, a new study suggests. More>>

Money tops Americans' list of stressors

Money continues to be the leading cause of stress for Americans, a new survey finds. More>>

Modern birth control methods could avoid 15 million unwanted pregnancies

If more women had access to modern birth control methods and used them correctly, there would be 15 million fewer unwanted pregnancies in low- and middle-income nations each year, a new study suggests. More>>

1 in 5 younger diabetics lacks good medical care

One in every five young American adults with diabetes hasn't seen a doctor in the past 6 months, a new government report indicates. More>>

Electronic devices may disrupt teen sleep

Spending too much time using electronic devices during the day harms teens' sleep, a new study suggests. More>>

Diabetes patients lax with meds if diagnosed with cancer

People with diabetes are less likely to take their diabetes medications if they've been diagnosed with cancer, researchers report. More>>

More measles cases seen in January than in typical year

The United States has seen more cases of measles in January than it usually does in an entire year, federal health officials said Thursday. More>>

Teens, young adults most likely to go to ER after car accidents

In a finding that won't surprise many parents, a new government analysis shows that teens and young adults are the most likely to show up in a hospital ER with injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident. More>>

Winter is the season of nosebleeds

Nosebleeds are a common during the winter and shouldn't be cause for concern, an expert says. More>>

Liberals, independents win life span sweepstakes

Liberals are in luck when it comes to longevity, new research contends. More>>

Binge-watching tv may be sign of depression, loneliness

Binge-watching television is linked with feeling lonely and depressed, a new study suggests. More>>

Soda habit may prompt early puberty in girls

Girls who consume a lot of sugary drinks may enter puberty earlier than girls who don't, Harvard researchers report. More>>

Ebola threat diminishing in West Africa, officials say

West Africa's Ebola epidemic has slowed significantly, but health officials are hesitant to say the lethal virus is no longer a threat. More>>

Don't become a blizzard casualty

The blizzard conditions and frigid cold blanketing the U.S. Northeast pose numerous health threats, a doctor warns. More>>

How to stay safe when riding out a blizzard

As a potentially record-breaking blizzard pummels the U.S. Northeast, there are steps residents should take to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, doctors say. More>>

78 people now infected in U.S. measles outbreak

The number of people infected with measles linked to the outbreak at Disney amusement parks in southern California now stands at 78, health officials reported Friday. More>>

Watch out for falling icicles

Icicles may be beautiful, but they can also be dangerous, an emergency medicine doctor warns. More>>

Most Americans have access to 'exercise opportunities,' study finds

More than three-quarters of Americans live close to at least one park or recreational facility, giving many people opportunity to exercise, a new study finds. More>>

'Hidden' brain damage seen in vets with blast injuries

The brains of some veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who were injured by homemade bombs show an unusual pattern of damage, a small study finds. More>>

Use of 'the pill' tied to higher risk for rare brain cancer

The risk for developing a rare form of brain cancer known as glioma appears to go up with long-term use of hormonal contraceptives such as the Pill, new Danish research suggests. More>>

Dealing with a hostile boss

One way of dealing with nasty bosses may be to turn their hostility back on them, a new study suggests. More>>

Researchers rethink inner-city asthma theory

A new study challenges the widely held belief that inner-city children have a higher risk of asthma simply because of where they live. More>>

Walking group a step toward better health, researchers say

Joining a walking group may be just what the doctor orders, because research suggests it is one of the best ways to improve your overall health. More>>

Rare virus discovered in common tick

A rare virus has been found in ticks that are common in the southeastern United States. More>>

Eyes wide shut: Key to a keener memory?

Got your heart set on a career as a detective? Here's a clue that may help you crack that first big case. More>>

Smoking, obesity: Weighing the financial toll

Smoking and obesity are both harmful to your health, but they also do considerable damage to your wallet, researchers report. More>>

When women think men prefer bigger gals, they're happier with their weight

When it comes to how satisfied they are with their own bodies, notions women hold of what men look for in females may be key, a new study suggests. More>>

Alcohol, pot fuel half of young driver deaths

Half of young drivers who died in crashes in nine states were under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or both at the time of the accident, a new study finds. More>>

Straight men more prone to jealousy over sexual infidelity

A woman may have the reputation of turning into a green-eyed monster when her man sleeps with someone else, but new research suggests a man gets even more jealous in the same scenario. More>>

Work hard, party harder?

Working long hours may raise the risk for alcohol abuse, according to a new study of more than 300,000 people from 14 countries. More>>

Vaccination can cut rates of common infection in infants

Rotavirus is a relatively common infection of infants and -- especially in poorer countries -- can cause sometimes fatal diarrhea and vomiting. More>>

Are seniors with diabetes overtreated?

Many older people with diabetes may be exposed to potential harm because doctors are trying to keep overly tight control of their blood sugar levels, a new study argues. More>>

Study suggests link between e-cigarettes, respiratory infections

Vapor from electronic cigarettes may increase young people's risk of respiratory infections, whether or not it contains nicotine, a new laboratory study has found. More>>

Does he post a lot of 'selfies'? He might be a narcissist

That guy on Facebook posting dozens of "selfies" of himself -- at the beach, at work, partying -- might just be a narcissist, a new study suggests. More>>

Despite resolutions, food bills go up after New Year's

So New Year's Day has come and gone, leaving millions with resolutions to finally shed some pounds. More>>

Keeping safe in a big freeze

As a new cold snap sends temperatures plunging across much of the United States, one expert offers tips on how to stay warm and safe. More>>

New antibiotic may combat resistant bacteria

Laboratory researchers say they've discovered a new antibiotic that could prove valuable in fighting disease-causing bacteria that no longer respond to older, more frequently used drugs. More>>

Bullies and their victims may be at higher risk of suicide

A new analysis of research from around the world suggests that kids involved in bullying are at higher risk of suicidal thoughts and actions. More>>

Could quitting smoking be easier for women just after ovulation?

Women who want to quit smoking need every advantage they can get. Now, a new study finds that timing a quit attempt around certain points in the menstrual cycle may increase the chances of success. More>>

Kids with bedroom smartphones sleep less

A smartphone in a child's bedroom may undermine good sleep habits even more than a TV, new research suggests. More>>

Little change in fast food calorie counts, salt content

An investigation into the nutrition offered in meals from three major fast food chains finds little change in calories, salt or saturated fat from 1996 to 2013. More>>

Strong neighborhood bonds, less gun violence?

Strong bonds that tie people together can protect neighborhood residents from gun violence, a new study suggests. More>>

Ebola, Obamacare top U.S. health news for 2014

It started as a deadly but little-known outbreak in West Africa, but the lethal and unchecked spread of the Ebola virus dominated U.S. headlines for much of 2014, making it one of the year's top health news stories. More>>

Some blind people use echolocation to 'see'

Some people who are blind develop an alternate sense -- called echolocation -- to help them "see," a new study indicates. More>>

Some expert tips to help smokers finally quit in 2015

Quitting smoking is a common New Year's resolution, and the American Lung Association has some tips that might help smokers make 2015 the year to really kick the habit. More>>

U.S. bicyclist deaths on the rise

The number of bicyclist fatalities in the United States is increasing, particularly among adults in major cities, a recent study shows. More>>

Dealing with cold weather injuries

If exercising outdoors is on your list of New Year's resolutions, don't let the cold weather stop you, suggests the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA). More>>

Your birth year could influence your odds for obesity

The year in which you're born might affect the activity of a gene that could raise your odds for obesity, a new study finds. More>>

Flu now epidemic in U.S., with 15 child deaths reported

The flu has reached epidemic levels in the United States, with 15 children dead so far this season, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday. More>>

New Year's Eve dos and don'ts

To ensure that you make the right choices and end the current year on a good note, follow this guide of New Year's Eve dos and don'ts. More>>

Stay sober or be pulled over this holiday season

As the holiday season kicks into full gear, state highway officials from across the nation are warning drivers to stay off the roads if they've been drinking. More>>

'Tis the season for seasonal affective disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs in some people due to decreased amounts of daylight during the winter. More>>

Keeping that weight loss resolution

If you're one of the many Americans who plan to lose weight next year, there are a number of things you can do to improve your chances of success, an expert says. More>>

E-cigarettes less addictive than regular cigarettes

Former tobacco smokers find e-cigarettes less addictive than traditional cigarettes, new research finds. More>>

Expert offers tips for preventing holiday migraines

The holidays can be a challenge for people who suffer migraines, which can be set off by certain foods and drinks. More>>

Smartphones may charge up your thumbs

Regular use of touch screens on smartphones changes the way your fingers and brain work together, a new study reveals. More>>

Americans buying fewer sugary, pre-packaged desserts

Americans are buying fewer pre-packaged baked goods, such as pies, cakes and cookies, new research shows. More>>

Mother's depression tied to later delinquency in kids

Teens are more likely to smoke, drink and use marijuana -- and to do so at an earlier age -- if their mothers were depressed when the kids were in grade school, a new study says. More>>

E. coli germs found on farmers market herbs

Potentially illness-causing E. coli bacteria were found on nearly one-quarter of herbs bought at farmers markets, according to a new study. More>>

Holiday trimmings can trigger allergies

The holidays can be anything but joyous for people with allergies when they contend with fresh trees, scented candles and other allergy triggers. More>>

Older cars a bad choice for younger drivers

New research warns parents that buying an older car for their teens may put their young lives at risk. More>>

Sensitive parenting may boost kids' social skills, school performance

The type of parenting children receive at an early age may have a long-term effect on their social skills and school success, a new study indicates. More>>

Yoga may cut heart disease risk factors

Yoga has long been believed to improve overall health, but a growing body of evidence shows the ancient practice may also help the heart, a new review finds. More>>

'Kids' diseases' now hitting adults

Chickenpox befell Angelina Jolie this week, preventing the actress-turned-director from attending the premiere of her new film. More>>

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