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

Household dust harbors thousands of microbial species

You've got a lot of unsuspected roommates: A new study finds that ordinary house dust contains thousands of species of bacteria and fungi. More>>

Scientists can now grow a human brain in a petri dish

Scientists believe that this impressive feat could revolutionize the study of certain neurological diseases, like Alzheimer’s. More>>

As tropical storm Erika eyes southeastern U.S., residents need to prepare

With tropical storm Erika motoring toward the southeastern United States, hurricane season is clearly under way and people who live in the paths of these dangerous storms need to be prepared. More>>

FDA approves second drug in new class of cholesterol-lowering medications

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved a second drug that's part of a potent new class of medications that sharply cut levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol. More>>

Gains in life spans seen around the globe


Average life expectancy among people worldwide has risen by more than six years since 1990, and healthy life expectancy has climbed by more than five years, a new report shows. More>>

Longer colonoscopy time may cut cancer risk

Don't hope for a quick colonoscopy. More>>

Oldest sister at greater risk of obesity

Firstborn girls are more likely to be overweight or obese in adulthood than their younger sisters, results of a new study suggest. More>>

Medical groups endorse early exposure to peanut products for high-risk infants

Infants at high risk for peanut allergies should be given foods containing peanuts before they reach the age of 1 year, a new consensus statement from 10 medical groups states. More>>

Teens not the only ones using cellphones while driving

Teenagers aren't the only ones prone to texting and talking while driving: A new survey finds that the vast majority of adults use their cellphones behind the wheel. More>>

Many parents put 'food pressure' on their kids

New research finds that parents of overweight kids are more likely to restrict their children's food intake -- a potentially bad idea -- if they themselves are carrying extra pounds. More>>

Many young adults think hookahs, e-cigs safer than cigarettes

Many young American adults believe electronic cigarettes and water pipes are safer than traditional cigarettes, a new study finds. More>>

Brief drop in blood sugar at birth tied to poorer school performance

Children who experience a brief drop in blood sugar right after birth may have a harder time with reading and math when they go to school, a new study suggests. More>>

CT scan use in kids fell over past decade

Children are receiving fewer CT scans now than a decade ago, dovetailing with a move to radiation-free MRI scans and ultrasounds, a recent study shows. More>>

Vocabulary at 2 may help predict kindergarten success

Children with a larger speaking vocabulary at age 2 are better prepared for kindergarten, a new study shows. More>>

Many parents aren't shielding babies from sun's harmful rays

Many parents aren't providing their babies with proper sun protection, a new small study finds. More>>

Eating on the run may mean eating more later

Eating "on the go" may thwart people who are watching their weight, new research suggests. More>>

Preteen football tied to brain changes in retired NFL players

Playing tackle football before the age of 12 may be linked to brain changes seen in pro football players who developed memory and thinking problems later in life, new research suggests. More>>

Jimmy Carter being treated for melanoma that has spread to brain

Displaying the grace and calm that has been a hallmark of much of his public life, former President Jimmy Carter announced Thursday that doctors have found cancer on his brain, and he plans to undergo radiation treatment... More>>

Workaholics may face higher stroke risk

Millions of workers who put in lots of overtime may be upping their odds for a stroke, a new study contends. More>>

Synthetic MERS vaccine works in animal tests

An experimental vaccine protected monkeys against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, U.S. researchers report. More>>

One or two drinks a day might boost cancer risk

Just one or two drinks a day can increase the risk of certain cancers, researchers report. More>>

Video games linked to aggression

There is a link between violent video games and higher levels of aggression in players, according to a new report from a leading group of psychologists. More>>

Quick, paper-based Ebola test may help in remote areas

A paper-based testing device can quickly diagnose Ebola among people who live in remote areas, according to a new study. More>>

How to mend a broken heart? Your gender may matter

The pain of a romantic breakup may hit women harder at first, but they recover far more quickly from the loss than men do, new research suggests. More>>

Family struggles may affect boys' brain development

Family problems early in life might raise boys' risk of depression and anxiety, which is also tied to altered brain structure in their late teens and early 20s, a new study suggests. More>>

Neglecting teen health may lead to bigger problems as adults

Nearly one in five teens has specific health care needs that are not receiving attention, and this may set them up for poorer physical and mental health in adulthood, a new study contends. More>>

Tuning into your favorite music may boost post-op recovery

Mozart, Madonna or Eminem: Whatever your taste, music may help you recover from a surgery, according to a new review of data on the subject. More>>

Vitamin D supplements little help for obese teens

Taking vitamin D supplements does not benefit obese teens and may actually harm their health, new research indicates. More>>

Type 2 diabetes linked to language problems in women

Insulin resistance, a key component of type 2 diabetes, may contribute to language problems in women that can potentially signal early dementia, new research suggests. More>>

Broader gene tests for breast, ovarian cancer might benefit some

Some women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer might benefit from a broader genetic test that includes more than 20 genes that have been found to increase cancer risk, a new study suggests. More>>

Former President Jimmy Carter has cancer

Former President Jimmy Carter announced Wednesday that he has cancer. More>>

1 in 4 senior women in U.S. has osteoporosis

The weakening bones of osteoporosis greatly raise a person's odds for dangerous fractures, and a new report finds that one-quarter of all American women aged 65 or older suffer from the condition. More>>

Vaccine combo shows promise against common, dangerous infection

Researchers report they are closer to finding a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common illness that few recognize by name but one that's a major cause of lower respiratory infection in babies and the elderly. More>>

Jury still out on whether saturated fat is bad for you

A new review suggests that saturated fats, like those found in many dairy products and meat, may not be the big contributors to heart disease or early death that many think they are. More>>

12 deaths now reported in NYC Legionnaires' disease outbreak


Two more deaths were reported Monday in the Legionnaires' disease outbreak in New York City, bringing the total to 12. More>>

Frozen donor eggs may lead to fewer births than fresh ones

Infertile women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be less likely to give birth if they use frozen eggs from donors instead of fresh donor eggs, a new study finds. More>>

Some babies may pick up 2nd language more easily

A certain type of social behavior helps babies learn a second language, a new small study suggests. More>>

Music therapy might one day help people with epilepsy

Music therapy might someday help people with epilepsy, a new study suggests. More>>

What works best to curb a preschooler's bad behaviors?

Parents should be open to using a range of tactics for managing their preschoolers' behavior problems -- including "time-outs," a set of new studies suggests. More>>

Online program boosts hand washing, cuts infections

An online program that encourages people to wash their hands reduced the spread of cold and flu viruses within families, a new study says. More>>

Scientists spot what keeps moles from becoming melanomas

A major genetic factor that prevents moles from turning into deadly melanoma skin cancer has been pinpointed by researchers. More>>

Most U.S. schools start too early for kids to get enough sleep

Five out of six middle and high schools in the United States start the day too early, which keeps students from getting the sleep they need, a new government report finds. More>>

For endoscopes tied to serious infections, current cleaning methods not enough

Recent outbreaks of dangerous infections tied to endoscopic devices called duodenoscopes have grabbed headlines, and in March the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued strict guidelines on how best to disinfect the devices. More>>

Spicing up your meals might extend your life

Some like it hot, and a new study finds that folks who favor spicy foods might also have a lower risk of premature death. More>>

A man's meat intake might influence his fertility

Attention, men: Your favorite meats might be helping or harming your fertility, a new study suggests. More>>

More evidence that kids of gay parents do just fine

On the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, new research suggests that children raised by gay parents are well-adjusted and resilient. More>>

Liquid nicotine from e-cigs poses poison danger to kids

Nicotine poisoning is a growing concern for American children, but proposed U.S. federal government regulations alone aren't enough to solve the problem, an expert says. More>>

Urine test might find pancreatic cancer early


Scientists report that they have developed a urine test that may detect pancreatic cancer at an early stage. More>>

Severe 'picky eating' may point to mental health issues in kids

A kid who is a seriously "picky eater" is also likely to struggle with emotional problems like anxiety and depression, new research suggests. More>>

Mineral supplement: Wild chimps may eat clay for health

Chimpanzees in Uganda have started eating clay to supplement the minerals in their diet, researchers report. More>>

Stand, don't sit, to get healthier

Sitting too long may be hazardous to your health, even if you exercise regularly, Australian researchers report. More>>

Too much Facebook, Twitter tied to poor mental health in teens

Teens who frequently use social media are more likely to say they struggle with mental health concerns that are not being addressed, new Canadian research reveals. More>>

Stay safe when temperatures rise

Extremely hot weather can be deadly if you don't take the proper precautions, an expert warns. More>>

In rare cases, infection may be at root of back pain

People with back pain that doesn't improve with treatment could have a rare type of spine infection, new guidelines suggest. More>>

Study finds drinking may ease fibromyalgia pain, but doctors wary

Moderate to heavy drinking might cut the likelihood of disability for people with chronic widespread pain such as that related to fibromyalgia, new Scottish research suggests. More>>

Certain antibiotics linked to hearing loss

A certain class of antibiotics used to treat deadly bacterial infections puts patients at high risk for hearing loss, research in mice suggests. More>>

FDA approves 'belly balloon' device for weight loss

Obese Americans struggling to shed pounds have a new weight-loss option: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved a temporary, implanted balloon device to treat obesity. More>>

Weight at first pregnancy linked to complications next time

Women with an unhealthy weight in a first pregnancy could be at greater risk for complications in their next pregnancy -- even if they're at a good weight, a new study finds. More>>

Standing all day at work? It may take toll on health

Desk jobs aren't good for your health, but working on your feet could spell trouble, too, researchers say. More>>

New moms often get poor advice on baby care

New mothers get conflicting advice from medical professionals, family members and the media when it comes to key parenting topics, a recent study found. More>>

Does Facebook lead young women to dangerous diets?

A new study provides insight into how Facebook use by young women can lead to poor body image and risky dieting. More>>

When bystanders give CPR right away, lives are saved

Many lives could be saved if more people performed CPR immediately after seeing someone go into cardiac arrest, a new study contends. More>>

Beach sand, not water, more likely to make you sick

Heading to the beach this weekend? A new study finds that when it comes to germs, beachgoers may have more to fear from the sand they sit on than the water they swim in. More>>

FDA wants to strengthen sugar labeling

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday it wants food labels to include more information about how much added sugar is in a product, so consumers can see more clearly how much extra sugar they are consuming every day. More>>

Well-off, active, over 50? You may be at higher risk for problem drinking

Are you over 50, making a good income, physically healthy and active? A new British study suggests you might need to be wary of one potential downside: a higher risk for excessive, problem drinking. More>>

Teen drinking, smoking on the decline

Although more American teens are using marijuana, their use of alcohol and cigarettes has decreased, a new study finds. More>>

Hormone linked to social difficulties with autism

Low levels of a certain hormone may play a role in the social difficulties that children with autism spectrum disorders experience, new research suggests. More>>

Success in dogs points to first nonsurgical cataract treatment

Eyes clouded by cataracts may one day be treated with drops rather than surgery, a new animal study suggests. More>>

High soda intake may boost diabetes risk, even without obesity

Whether you are slim or obese, if you drink lots of sugary soda or other sweetened drinks you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, a new analysis reveals. More>>

Scientists test universal flu vaccine in mice

Scientists report that a universal flu vaccine in mice protected the animals against eight different flu strains. More>>

Women descend into Alzheimer's at twice the speed of men

Women with mild thinking and memory problems -- known as mild cognitive impairment -- deteriorate twice as fast mentally as men with the same condition, according to new research. More>>

Could a saliva test help spot Alzheimer's?

It's still very early, but scientists say a test based on a patient's saliva might someday help detect Alzheimer's disease. More>>

Could antibiotics raise a child's risk for juvenile arthritis?

Here's yet another reason not to overuse antibiotics: Children treated with the antibacterial drugs may face a greater risk for developing juvenile arthritis, new research suggests. More>>

Experts offer diving safety tips

It's tempting to dive into pools, lakes and other bodies of water when you're trying to cool off on a hot summer day, but it can be dangerous if you don't take proper safety precautions, experts warn. More>>

Wild mushrooms might be your last meal

A healthy 52-year-old woman who ate wild mushrooms growing in a Canadian park nearly died from her error. More>>

Many obese teens don't think they're fat

A growing number of overweight and obese American teens don't think they have a weight problem, a new study shows. More>>

Could that before-dinner drink make you eat more?

Having a drink before dinner really may make some people eat more -- by focusing the brain's attention on food aromas, a small study suggests. More>>

Consumer reports takes liquid detergent pods off 'recommended' list

Consumer Reports said Thursday that it has removed liquid laundry pods from its "recommended" list because of the dangers they pose to small children. More>>

Hospitalization rates jump near 'fracking' sites

People who live near "fracking" sites may be at increased risk for hospitalization for heart problems, neurological disorders and other conditions, new research suggests. More>>

Daily smartphone use might offer clues to depression

A new study suggests that how you use your smartphone could shed light on whether you might suffer from depression. More>>

U.S. hospitals may often miss signs of child abuse

Many U.S. hospitals may miss an opportunity to detect physical abuse in babies and toddlers, a new study reveals. More>>

Online 'symptom checkers' often miss diagnosis

Automated online "symptom checkers" that seem to offer patients a quick opportunity for self-diagnosis provide the right diagnosis in only about one-third of cases, a new analysis reveals. More>>

Hot weather safety essential for elderly

As the thermometer rises, so do serious health risks for seniors and others with chronic medical problems. More>>

Meth, coke addiction may affect brains of women more than men

In a new study, brain scans reveal that women formerly addicted to stimulant drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, have a smaller amount of a type of brain tissue known as "gray matter." More>>

Banning soccer 'headers' won't solve concussion problem

While many experts have called for a ban on "heading" the ball in youth soccer because they believe it is a leading cause of concussions, a new study suggests the body contact that often occurs during such play is to blame for most brain injuries. More>>

What's in a name? For newborns, maybe fewer medical errors

Using more specific names for newborns may reduce hospital mix-ups by roughly a third, a new study suggests. More>>

Study questions safety of chemicals used in plastic consumer products

Two supposedly safer chemicals used to replace a known harmful one in plastic and other consumer products pose similar health risks, a new study contends. More>>

In some ways, fast food no worse for health than full-service meals

Eating on the run might not be so bad after all: A new study finds diners consume more salt and cholesterol in sit-down restaurants than they do in fast-food joints. More>>

Marijuana study counters 'gateway' theory

© Comstock / Thinkstock © Comstock / Thinkstock

Marijuana may not be the "gateway drug" some believe it to be, a new study contends. More>>

Another study sees link between antidepressants and birth defects

New research provides more evidence of a possible link between antidepressant use early in pregnancy and a small increased risk of birth defects. More>>

Deaths from high blood pressure should plummet under 'Obamacare'

U.S. deaths from blood pressure-related diseases are expected to drop substantially during the coming decades because of improved health coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act, a new study reports. More>>

Asbestos found in kids' crayons, toy kits

Asbestos fibers have been found in crayons and other toys sold in the United States, according to a new report from an environmental health advocacy group. More>>

Colon cancer deaths falling, except in 3 U.S. regions

There's reason to celebrate declines in deaths from colon cancer in the United States -- unless you live in three areas that are still waiting for those declines, a new report finds. More>>

Heroin use on the rise among women, wealthier people

The face of heroin addiction in the United States is changing, as well-off abusers of prescription painkillers switch to illicit narcotics to feed their habit, federal officials reported Tuesday. More>>

Wide variations seen in U.S. stroke care

Americans' odds of receiving a drug that can halt strokes in progress may vary widely depending on their ZIP codes, a new study finds. More>>

Regular mammograms might lead to 'overdiagnosis' of breast cancer

Regular mammogram screening for breast cancer might be causing "widespread overdiagnosis," with some women treated for tumors that would not have caused sickness or death, a new study contends. More>>

Anti-vaccine trend has parents shunning newborns' vitamin shot

With the recent U.S. measles outbreak, the issue of vaccine refusal has received growing scrutiny. Now doctors are calling attention to a similar problem: Some parents are shunning the vitamin K shot routinely given to newborns to prevent internal bleeding. More>>

Naps may boost worker productivity

Taking a nap while on the job might help workers be more productive, new research suggests. More>>

How to avoid July Fourth allergy flare-ups

Fireworks, picnics and parades are favorite Fourth of July traditions for many people, but for those with allergies or asthma these activities could be uncomfortable or even dangerous. More>>

Summer danger: Barbecue grill brush wires causing big health woes

Before you bite into that burger on Independence Day weekend, you might want to ask the chef whether a rusty old grill brush was used to clean the barbecue. More>>

Mass killings, school shootings in U.S. may be 'contagious'

Mass killings and school shootings in the United States may be "contagious," inspiring similar killing sprees, new research suggests. More>>

Fireworks can spark bump in air pollution

Most Americans know that fireworks can injure the eyes and hands, but these Fourth of July favorites can also take a toll on the lungs, a new study finds. More>>

Many U.S. AIDS patients still die when 'opportunistic' infections strike

Even after the advent of powerful medications for suppressing HIV, a new study finds that more than one-third of people in San Francisco who were diagnosed with an AIDS-related infection died within five years. More>>

1 in 3 American adults owns a gun

Guns are owned by nearly one in three Americans. And many of those people are part of a "social gun culture" that includes hunters and gun club members, a new survey finds. More>>

A healthy body often equals a healthy brain

People who want to stay sharp as they age often turn to brain teasers, puzzles and games, figuring correctly that they'll lose it if they don't use it. But a healthy body is also key to maintaining a healthy brain, and that's something many people tend to overlook, experts say. More>>

Millennials more accepting of working moms than past generations

Young Americans are more accepting of working mothers than previous generations were, a new study finds. More>>

Parents, stop hovering: 'Risky' play may have benefits for kids

Children may benefit, physically and socially, from being allowed to play with less monitoring from mom and dad, a new research review finds. More>>

As U.S. smoking rate drops, smokers more likely to quit

As the number of smokers in the United States dwindles, those who still light up are becoming less attached to the habit and more likely to try quitting, a new study has found. More>>

Noisy neighborhoods tied to higher stroke risk

Long-term exposure to noise pollution from traffic may reduce life expectancy, a new study contends. More>>

'Overwhelming' evidence that same-sex parenting won't harm kids

There is no evidence that having same-sex parents harms children in any way, a new comprehensive review finds. More>>

In wake of high court ruling, what's next for Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act will grow stronger in the next few years, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the controversial health reform law for a second time. More>>

Many more women than men living to 100

Men are less likely than women to reach 100, but those who do tend to be healthier than their female peers, a new study finds. More>>

Same-sex marriage offers couples psychological benefits

With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to rule on whether same-sex marriage is a national right, many social scientists say an affirmative ruling in the landmark case would also deliver psychological dividends to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. More>>

Virtual reality may help alcoholics beat cravings

Virtual reality therapy may help alcoholics battle their addiction, a small study from South Korea suggests. More>>

Could a microbe in your gut help you lose weight?

It's possible that among the millions of bacteria living in your gut, at least one microbe might change how your body processes food and affect your weight, a small French study suggests. More>>

1 in 5 teens may be bullied on social media

A new review suggests that estimates of cyberbullying are all over the place, ranging as low as 5 percent and as high as 74 percent. More>>

Teens unfamiliar with harms of pot, e-cigs

Teens may have a firm grasp on the dangers of smoking cigarettes, but they appear less clear about how using marijuana or electronic cigarettes might harm their health, new research suggests. More>>

Millions of smokers may have undiagnosed lung disease

Millions of long-term smokers may have undiagnosed lung disease, a new study finds. More>>

HPV vaccination tied to drop in precancerous cervical lesions in U.S.

A new study offers more evidence that the advent of vaccines to fight human papillomavirus (HPV) could reduce cervical cancer in American women. More>>

High school football players may be at doubled risk of migraine

High school football players appear to be twice as likely to have migraines as the average person, which may be due to head injuries and concussions the athletes endure during play, two small new studies suggest. More>>

Ancient teeth show signs of indoor air pollution

Tartar from 400,000-year-old human teeth reveals the earliest evidence of man-made air pollution, according to a new study. More>>

Can too much sitting make you anxious?

People who spend much of their day sitting may be more likely to feel anxious, a new review suggests. More>>

Any added sugar is bad sugar, some experts contend

High-fructose corn syrup has long been portrayed as a major villain in the American diet. But a new school of thought contends that plain old table sugar or even all-natural honey can be just as harmful to a person's health. More>>

Many parents who smoke expose kids to fumes at home

In nearly 40 percent of U.S. homes with parents who smoke, those parents don't have smoke-free rules in place for their kids, a new study finds. More>>

Appendicitis can often be treated with antibiotics

Although surgical removal of the appendix has long been a standard treatment, a new study found that almost three-quarters of people treated with antibiotics could be spared the invasive procedure known as appendectomy. More>>

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