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

Flu season off to a slow start ... for now

This year's flu season is off to a slow but detectable start. And it appears to be a typical one that's likely to peak in January or February, a leading U.S. health official says. More>>

Many people who drink a lot aren't alcoholics

Most people who drink to excess or binge drink are not alcoholics, a new U.S. government report says. More>>

Tips on the health insurance marketplace/exchange

Whatever your political views of the Affordable Care Act of March 2010 (ACA) – better known as Obamacare – there's good news if you need to buy health insurance for yourself or your family for 2015. More>>

A bad marriage burdens an aging heart

A bad marriage increases an older adult's risk of heart trouble, and that's particularly true for women, a new study contends. More>>

1 in 5 U.S. adults dealt with a mental illness in 2013

Nearly one in five American adults -- 43.8 million people -- had a diagnosable mental illness in 2013, federal officials reported Thursday. More>>

Get ready for the Great American Smokeout

The third Thursday of November is almost here, and that's a key annual date for many health advocates -- the Great American Smokeout. More>>

Alcohol taxes may give boost to public health, economy

Some may believe that raising taxes on alcohol products will cost jobs in the service sector, but a new study suggests that's made up for by job creation elsewhere. More>>

Parents want children in day care to be vaccinated

Three-quarters of American parents would consider removing their children from day care if other kids did not have all the recommended vaccinations. More>>

Nearly 3 in 10 Americans with diabetes don't know it

Almost 8 million Americans have diabetes but don't know it, a new study shows. More>>

Certain heart attacks are deadlier in hospital

A new study finds that patients are more likely to die of a certain type of heart attack if they suffer it in a hospital while being treated for non-cardiac conditions. More>>

Exercise, physical therapy may help ease pain of arthritis

Regular exercise and physical therapy may benefit people with hip and knee arthritis, new research suggests. More>>

Young children, energy drinks a dangerous mix

The potential dangers of energy drinks, those highly caffeinated beverages that promise to stave off sleepiness, are well known, but a new study suggests that even young children are at risk. More>>

Time to enroll, or re-enroll, in an 'Obamacare' health plan

The "Obamacare" marketplaces are now gearing up for a new challenge: persuading Americans who slogged through last year's troubled open enrollment to renew their coverage. More>>

Weight gain doesn't have to be part of Thanksgiving

Many people gain weight at Thanksgiving because they eat too much and don't get enough exercise. But, a few simple steps can help you keep your weight under control while still enjoying the holiday, an expert says. More>>

More than one-fifth of high school students smoke

More than a fifth of American teens smoke or use tobacco in some way, which means that millions of them are putting themselves at risk for early death, a federal government study warns. More>>

Undiagnosed sleep problems may be common among firefighters

Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia, shift work disorder and restless leg syndrome are common among firefighters, new research shows. More>>

Medical bills pricey for Americans, even with private insurance

Many Americans may believe that private insurance can keep major medical bills at bay. But a new survey finds that one-fifth of people with private plans still spend at least 5 percent of their income on out-of-pocket health care costs. More>>

Protect yourself in icy temperatures, heavy snow

As the winter's first big snowstorm hits the Midwest and an Arctic blast barrels toward the East Coast this week, experts are offering tips on how to deal with the cold and snow. More>>

Many smokers quick to accept plainly packaged cigarettes

In an attempt to make smoking less attractive, Australia recently mandated that cigarette packs there be sold in plain wrappers with large, graphic health warnings. More>>

Medicare to cover lung cancer screening for long-time smokers

Annual lung cancer screenings for long-term smokers may soon be covered by Medicare, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Monday. More>>

Laundry detergent pods pose poisoning risk to kids

Laundry detergent "pods" seriously sickened more than 700 U.S. children and killed at least one in a recent two-year period, a new report reveals. More>>

Holidays can trip up problem drinkers

The approaching holiday season can pose challenges for the 18 million Americans with an alcohol use disorder, an addiction specialist warns. More>>

A 'purpose in life' may extend yours

Another study finds that having a sense of meaning and purpose in your life might do more than just give you focus -- it might help you live longer, too. More>>

'Unconditional regard' buoys kids' self-esteem

Kids who believe their friends like them, no matter what, may be less prone to feeling bad about themselves when things go wrong, a new study hints. More>>

Google Glass might curb your vision

Since its initial launch in 2013, Google Glass has been touted as a revolutionary entry into the world of "smart" eyewear. More>>

Research questions link between media violence, violent behavior

Throwing another wrinkle into the ongoing debate over the effects of media violence, new research suggests that movies and video games might not deserve the blame for real-life crime. More>>

Long-term shift work may drain the brain

Working non-standard hours -- often called "shift work" -- for many years is not only hard on the body, but may also dull the mind, new research suggests. More>>

Are your heart symptoms all in your head?

Nearly three-quarters of people whose hearts are found to be healthy after being checked for coronary artery disease continue to have persistent symptoms such as chest pain, a new study finds. More>>

Mom's words matter most to newborns

Infants are exposed to more speech from mothers during their first year of life, which may be why they often pay more attention to mom, new research suggests. More>>

High school football players aren't well-educated about concussion

Despite recent efforts to create awareness about concussion among young athletes, a new study found that high school football players still don't know enough about the symptoms and consequences of this type of head injury. More>>

Make the most of this weekend's time change

A few simple steps can help make this weekend's time change easier to cope with, a sleep expert says. More>>

Almost 1 in 5 Americans plagued by constant pain

Almost one-fifth of Americans do daily battle with crippling, chronic pain, a large new survey reveals, with the elderly and women struggling the most. More>>

Would alternative payment plan cut medical bills?

New research supports replacing the traditional way of reimbursing doctors for care -- paying for each service provided -- with an alternative system that gives a set amount of money to health care organizations for patient care. More>>

Is milk your friend or foe?

Drinking lots of milk could be bad for your health, a new study reports. More>>

Is violent crime in some people's genes?

In a cutting-edge look at the biology of crime, a team of Swedish investigators has identified two specific genetic mutations that appear to be linked to a higher risk for extremely violent behavior. More>>

'Social host' laws may help curb underage drinking

"Social host" laws, which hold adults accountable for any underage drinking that takes place on their property, may help curb teenage drinking, according to the preliminary findings of a new study. More>>

Virus present at birth causes more than 10 percent of hearing-loss cases in kids

More than 10 percent of babies born with an infection called cytomegalovirus will suffer permanent hearing loss, a new study reports. More>>

More kids harmed by drinking in pregnancy than expected

Although drinking during pregnancy has long been considered taboo, new research suggests that as many as one in 20 U.S. children may have health or behavioral problems related to alcohol exposure before birth. More>>

New York, New Jersey to quarantine all travelers with Ebola contacts

On Friday, the governors of New York and New Jersey announced strict new quarantine measures for anyone returning via Kennedy and Newark Liberty airports who may have had contacts with Ebola patients. More>>

Teens who dine with their families may be slimmer adults

For those teens who try to avoid spending time with their parents and siblings, new research suggests that sitting down for family meals might help them stay slim as adults. More>>

Airborne transmission of Ebola highly unlikely, experts say

Riding a bus or an elevator full of sniffles, coughs and sneezes is one of the more unpleasant aspects of the flu season. More>>

Teen conflicts spill over to other areas of their lives

Teens' conflicts at home increase the risk of problems at school for up to two days, according to a new study. More>>

Many Americans in debt, bankruptcy paying for cancer care

Besides the danger and worry from the disease itself, many Americans battling cancer are faced with high bills for medical care, two new reports show. More>>

Experimental infertility treatment seems effective, cheaper

A crucial part of conventional in vitro fertilization (IVF) -- the incubation of embryos in a laboratory dish -- can instead take place in a device inside the vagina, new research suggests. More>>

Binge drinking may boost blood pressure in young men

Binge drinking among young adult men may lead to increased blood pressure, according to a new study. More>>

Ebola anxiety: A bigger threat now than the virus itself

Headlines remain riveted on the three Ebola cases in Dallas. But, mental health specialists say overblown fear is a much bigger health threat to Americans. More>>

For infertility treatment, should he drink less coffee, more booze?

A man's love of coffee could hamper the success of a couple's infertility treatment, a small new study suggests. More>>

Ebola or not? Rapid test for the virus not here yet

"Diagnosing Ebola is very different from treating Ebola." More>>

Teens still sending naked pictures via cellphone

A large number of American teens continue to send and receive sexual images on their cellphones -- a practice dubbed sexting, according to a new study. More>>

Obama considers naming an 'Ebola czar'

President Barack Obama says he's considering appointing an "Ebola czar" to oversee the federal government's response to the small but anxiety-producing presence of the often lethal virus in the United States. More>>

Ebola nurse from Dallas transferred to Atlanta medical center

The second nurse at a Dallas hospital to be diagnosed with Ebola was transferred Wednesday night to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. More>>

Just try getting an appointment with a psychiatrist

Residents of major U.S. metropolitan areas who need a psychiatrist are often likely to come up empty-handed, regardless of ability to pay, new research suggests. More>>

For Ebola, no new drugs riding to the rescue -- for now

There's no magic bullet in the foreseeable future for the treatment of people infected by Ebola, infectious-disease experts say. More>>

Parenthood may push cancer patients to seek more treatment

Being a parent makes cancer patients more likely to seek life-extending treatments, a new study says. More>>

Exercise may not ward off teen depression

Although exercise has long been thought to help improve the symptoms of depression, teenagers may not reap these benefits, a new British study suggests. More>>

Eating disorders may start in elementary school

Eating disorders can begin before puberty and may be linked with other mental health issues, a new study shows. More>>

Even decaf coffee may help the liver

Another study suggests that coffee might actually be healthy for your liver, and that even decaffeinated coffee may have this effect. More>>

Poll: Americans increasingly anxious about Ebola

One-quarter of Americans now view Ebola as a major public health threat to the United States, with many saying they'd change their travel plans due to Ebola fears, a new Harris Poll/HealthDay survey reveals. More>>

Contact sports boost spread of 'superbug' germs

College athletes in contact sports such as football and soccer are more than twice as likely as other college athletes to carry a superbug known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), new research finds. More>>

Rely on mom-to-be when epidural is needed

When it comes to pain relief during labor and delivery, mom probably knows best, new research suggests. More>>

Five major U.S. airports to screen travelers from West Africa for Ebola

Five major U.S. airports will begin screening travelers entering the country from the three West African nations hit hardest by the ongoing Ebola epidemic, federal health officials announced Wednesday. More>>

U.S. life expectancy hits record high of nearly 79 years

Average life expectancy in the United States reached an all-time high of 78.8 years in 2012, federal officials reported Wednesday. More>>

Chain restaurants cutting calories

Eating out might not be as bad for your waistline as you might think. More>>

Certain meds, driving can be deadly mix

Thinking about taking a drive after popping some over-the-counter medications? Better check the label first, warn experts at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. More>>

Some people are born java junkies, study suggests

Folks who chug lots of coffee may have their genetics to thank for their java cravings, a new study says. More>>

Obama considers tighter Ebola screening for travelers from West Africa

President Barack Obama said Monday that his administration is preparing additional screening measures to prevent the Ebola epidemic ravaging West Africa from gaining a foothold in the United States. More>>

It's confirmed: You have parents to thank (or blame) for your height

New research confirms that you have your parents to thank for how tall or short you are. More>>

Ebola patient in Dallas hospital takes turn for worse

The first Ebola patient to be diagnosed in the United States has "taken a turn for the worse," federal health officials said Sunday. More>>

The obese are frequent targets for cyberbullies

Cyberbullying and negative messages targeting overweight and obese people are common on social media, a new study finds. More>>

Bro alert: Too much booze may harm your sperm

The more alcohol young men drink, the lower their sperm count and quality may be, new research suggests. More>>

Most who abuse painkillers are unprepared if overdose strikes

Although teens and young adults who abuse prescription painkillers face a high risk of overdose, most don't know how to respond when one occurs, new research shows. More>>

Recessions may thwart a woman's motherhood plans forever

When unemployment rates climb, women tend to put the brakes on motherhood. And for many young women, that decision may turn out to be a permanent choice, new research suggests. More>>

CDC confirms first patient diagnosed with Ebola in United States

The first confirmed case of Ebola has surfaced in the United States, involving a man who recently flew here from Liberia, federal health officials announced late Tuesday. More>>

When it comes to sex partners, men prefer younger women

In books and movies, plots involving older men chasing much younger women abound. More>>

Can exercise prevent Type 2 diabetes? Your genes may be key

For millions of overweight Americans, regular exercise remains a prime weapon against excess weight and the threat of Type 2 diabetes. More>>

After-school exercise yields brain gains

Regular daily exercise appears to improve children's attention and multi-tasking skills, according to a new study. More>>

Pediatricians endorse IUDs, implants for teen birth control

Long-acting contraceptive devices should be the first choice of birth control for teenage girls, new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics state. More>>

Behavioral therapy deemed best for social phobia

Antidepressants are commonly used to treat social phobia, but a new report argues that "talk therapy" is the better first option. More>>

U.S. pledges millions to study ways to ease soldiers' pain

The U.S. government announced Thursday that it will launch a massive research effort to explore alternative ways of managing chronic pain among members of the military. More>>

Can all work and no play make you diabetic?

Working long hours may increase your risk for diabetes, a new study suggests. But the finding seems to depend on your job. More>>

Can media multitasking alter your brain?

Multitasking with smartphones, laptop computers and other media devices could change the structure of your brain, according to a new study. More>>

Soda giants pledge to make calorie cuts in their drinks

The top U.S. soda makers have agreed to help reduce Americans' consumption of calories from sugary beverages by one-fifth during the next decade -- by shrinking drink sizes and marketing healthier options. More>>

Drinking alcohol more common on exercise days

People tend to drink more alcohol on days when they're more physically active, a new study finds. More>>

Better-educated people more open to dubious health info on Web

Younger college graduates are more likely to trust health information from questionable sources on the Internet than older high school grads would, new research reports. More>>

Gov't adds $10 million to encourage gender balance in clinical trials

The U.S. National Institutes of Health is investing $10 million in additional funding in scientific trials to encourage researchers to consider gender in their preclinical and clinical studies. More>>

Job worries can raise asthma risk

Fear of losing your job can increase the risk for developing asthma, according to a new European study. More>>

E-cigarettes don't help cancer patients quit smoking

New research raises doubts about the possible benefits of e-cigarettes for people with cancer. More>>

Do greener neighborhoods produce healthier babies?

Pregnant women who live in leafy, green neighborhoods are less likely to have premature or low birth weight babies, a new study suggests. More>>

U.S. gun deaths lowest in Hawaii, highest in D.C.

When it comes to firearm deaths, Hawaii has the fewest gun deaths in the United States, while the District of Columbia has the highest, according to new research. More>>

Mentors may steer young people toward more rewarding careers

Teens and young adults who've been mentored may be more likely to get a job that provides them with greater responsibility and independence early on in their career, according to a new study. More>>

ER waiting times vary significantly

When it comes to emergency room waiting times, patients seeking care at larger urban hospitals are likely to spend more time staring down the clock than those seen at smaller or more rural facilities, new research suggests. More>>

12 states now reporting severe respiratory illness that targets kids

Twelve states now have confirmed cases of Enterovirus D68, the severe respiratory illnesses that may have sickened hundreds of children, U.S. health officials report. More>>

Gov't to probe testosterone therapy claims, safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is focusing on the "Low T" fad, questioning whether the boom in testosterone replacement therapy is helping or harming the health of aging American males. More>>

Blood test spots adult depression

A new blood test is the first objective scientific way to diagnose major depression in adults, a new study claims. More>>

1 in 5 U.S. men admits to violence against spouse, partner

One in five American men admits to using violence against his spouse or partner, a new survey shows. More>>

Fewer U.S. teens using illegal drugs and alcohol, report finds

Illegal drug use among teens in the United States is on the decline, according to a new federal report. More>>

Walking, biking to work seems to have mental health benefits

Trading the gas pedal for foot power or bike power to get to your job can also improve your mental health, British researchers report. More>>

Small number of drugs behind kids' accidental poisonings

A relatively small number of medications are responsible for sending thousands of young children to the hospital for accidental ingestion, a U.S. government study finds. More>>

The parenting trap: Coddling anxious kids

Some parents may make things worse for their anxious kids by falling into what researchers call the "protection trap" -- reassuring them, lavishing them with attention or making the threat go away, according to the... More>>

Medications plus parent training may help kids with aggression, adhd

Combining two medications with parent training appears to improve anger, irritability and violent tendencies in children whose attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is coupled with severe aggression, a new study... More>>

Obese people may be more vulnerable to food cues

Obese people may be more vulnerable to environmental food cues than thin people because of differences in their brain chemistry, a new study suggests. More>>

Many U.S. kids missing out on preventive care

Most adults can remember the battery of health services they endured as kids: hearing and vision tests, dental exams, regular checkups and vaccinations. More>>

Mom's response to baby's cry a matter of memory

A mother's response to her baby's crying may be influenced by her own childhood, a new study reports. More>>

Short walks can offset long stretches of sitting

Taking really short but frequent walks can counteract the harm caused by sitting for long periods of time, a new study suggests. More>>

Spotting, treating autism symptoms in infancy may prevent delays

Among infants as young as 6 months old who exhibited symptoms of autism, therapy provided by parents seemed to prevent developmental delays by age 3 in most of the tots, a small new study suggests. More>>

Sibling bullies may leave lasting effects

While a burly kid on the playground may be the stereotype of a childhood bully, a new study suggests some of the most damaging bullies are as close to home as you can get: They're siblings who tease, make fun of and... More>>

Single-dose, injected flu treatment shows promise

A new single-dose, injected drug appears safe and effective at helping ease flu symptoms, two new studies show. More>>

Get a handle on medical expenses

Fast action can keep debt under control

More>>

Bras blameless for breast cancer risk

When it comes to breast cancer risk, women's bras are off the hook, a new study says. More>>

Obesity remains rampant across America

More than 20 states have obesity rates topping one-third of their population, and six states saw a rise in obesity rates last year, according to two new reports on America's worrisome, widening girth. More>>

Breast-feeding may help obese moms lose pregnancy pounds

Breast-feeding may help women lose their pregnancy weight and keep it off if they were obese before they became pregnant, according to new research. More>>

Females overlooked in basic surgical research, study says

Female animals or cells are rarely used in surgical research studies, even though sex differences can have a major impact on medical research, a new study finds. More>>

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