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

Young brains may gain skills when parents read to kids

Whether it's Dr. Seuss or Beatrix Potter, when parents read to young children it may spur brain activity that supports early reading skills, a new study finds. More>>

Foods that help keep the pounds off as you age

A new look at what kinds of foods might help people keep their weight in check as they age found that not all calories are created equal and some foods are not as bad for the middle-aged waistline as many believe. More>>

Chronic migraines take big toll on families, survey finds

When one family member has chronic migraine, the family as a whole can suffer, too, a new study finds. More>>

For Earth Day, turn off the faucet and the ignition

To mark Earth Day, experts suggest you consider making lifestyle changes that will reduce your impact on the planet. More>>

5.3 million chickens to be killed after bird flu outbreak at iowa farm

Bird flu has been detected on an Iowa farm with a flock of about 5 million chickens, bringing the total number of chickens and turkeys affected by the virus to nearly 8 million nationwide. More>>

Babies may be more sensitive to pain than adults

© Marili.Forastieri.Digital.Vision.Thinkstock © Marili.Forastieri.Digital.Vision.Thinkstock

Babies feel pain in much the same way as adults, says a new study that challenges some experts' beliefs that babies don't feel pain. More>>

Very young kids often use tablets, smartphones

Up to half of very young children use smartphones and tablets in some way before their first birthday, a new study finds. But parents still worry about their children's use of mobile media, a separate study says. More>>

Baby swings, car seats not safe for sleeping

Using car seats, swings, bouncers and other carrying devices as sleeping places for infants puts them at risk for injury or death, a new study warns. More>>

Impotence drugs don't fix all sexual concerns

Popping a little blue pill doesn't guarantee that an older man will be happy with his sex life, British researchers report. More>>

Ice cream maker pulls all products after listeria outbreak

Blue Bell Creameries said Monday that it will pull all of its frozen dessert products off the market because they might be contaminated with a bacteria that can cause stomach illness. More>>

Freedom to fidget helps kids with ADHD learn

Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) need to squirm to learn, a small study suggests. More>>

Some arthritis meds cost seniors thousands annually

Arthritis medications known as biologic disease-modifying drugs can cost Medicare patients more than $2,700 in co-payments a year, a new report finds. More>>

Swallowing pills? Children can learn how

iStockphoto / Thinkstock iStockphoto / Thinkstock

Children who have trouble swallowing needed pills aren't out of luck, according to a new study. At least five different strategies may help them swallow pills and capsules more easily, researchers found. More>>

Stronger muscles = healthier bones in kids

Stronger muscles seems to mean healthier bones in children, according to a new study. More>>

Higher altitude states have fewer kids with ADHD

The thin air of America's higher-elevation regions may reduce the risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a new study suggests. More>>

Spring allergy season could be a bloomin' nightmare

If you've got seasonal allergies, you probably already know that spring has finally arrived. And, some experts are predicting that this allergy season may be one of the worst in years. More>>

U.S. boy's death highlights rare mosquito-borne infection

The death from encephalitis of a 6-year-old Tennessee boy has led researchers to a better understanding of the mosquito-borne virus that killed the child. More>>

Here's why your knuckles crack

Researchers report they have discovered what causes your finger joints to crack. More>>

Substance abuse reported by about 1 in 10 American workers

Nearly one in 10 full-time workers in the United States has had a recent substance abuse problem, a new government study reveals. More>>

Child's popularity may rely on understanding others

Children who are tuned in to what others want, think and feel are more popular in school than those who aren't as good at understanding others, a new review indicates. More>>

College kids text on dates, in shower, at funerals

Many college students send or receive text messages more than 100 times each day and at the most inappropriate times and places, a new study finds. More>>

Breath test might spot stomach cancer risk

A new breath test may one day help spot the earliest signs of stomach cancer, a small trial from Israel suggests. More>>

Weight-control myths keep many U.S. women smoking

American women who believe smoking helps control weight are less likely than other female smokers to try quitting in response to higher cigarette prices and anti-smoking messages, a new study finds. More>>

Boozing in movies may boost teen drinking

Seeing actors drink alcohol in movies seems to increase the likelihood that teens will drink and have alcohol-related problems, a new study suggests. More>>

The inside dish on barbecue safety

Barbecues and picnics are synonymous with warm weather, and following food safety rules will help ensure that everyone stays healthy, an expert says. More>>

Could obesity help protect against dementia?

A new study of nearly 2 million people suggests that those who are overweight or obese in middle age may be less likely to develop dementia than their normal and underweight peers. More>>

Facelifts may make women seem more likable

A facelift might make you look younger and friendlier at the same time, a new, small study suggests. More>>

Scientists map DNA of endangered mountain gorillas

The first mapping of the DNA of mountain gorillas offers some positive news about the endangered animals, researchers report. More>>

Arts, crafts, socializing may buoy the aging brain

Adults who pursue artistic, craft and social activities may stay mentally sharp longer, a new study suggests. More>>

Family stress linked to teen obesity in study

Family stress may put teens at increased risk for being overweight or obese, a new study finds. More>>

Be careful with that eyeliner

Applying pencil eyeliner to the inner eyelid increases the risk that particles will get into the eye and cause vision problems, a new study warns. More>>

1 in 10 Americans has anger issues and access to guns

Almost one in 10 Americans has a history of impulsive and angry behavior and ready access to guns, new research indicates. More>>

Older execs bring pluses, minuses to the job

Older executives have some better mental skills than their younger counterparts, but lag behind in others, according to a new study. More>>

Regular, vigorous exercise may lengthen your life

Although any amount of exercise offers health benefits, a new study suggests that rigorous physical activity may be key to boosting longevity. More>>

Higher alcohol taxes may lead to fewer drunk-driving deaths

Higher alcohol taxes in Illinois are associated with a decrease in alcohol-related car crash deaths, a new study finds. More>>

Education doesn't guarantee happiness

Being well-educated doesn't necessarily mean you'll be happy with your life, a new British study suggests. More>>

Violent video games don't influence kids' behavior

A small study offers a mixed view on whether video games may make kids more aggressive. More>>

Could household bleach raise kids' risk for flu, other infections?

A ubiquitous cleaning agent in most American homes -- bleach -- might increase children's risk for flu, tonsillitis and other infections, a European study suggests. More>>

Texting bans tied to drop in car crash injuries

Most U.S. states now have bans on texting while driving, and those laws may be preventing some serious traffic accidents, a new study suggests. More>>

'Exploding head syndrome' surprisingly common among young people

Nearly one in five young people suffers from what's called "exploding head syndrome," a new study suggests. More>>

All that Googling may make people feel smarter than they are

When did Elvis die? What's the capital of Mongolia? Nowadays, the answers to nearly all questions are just a Google click away. More>>

Study casts doubt on acetaminophen for low back pain, arthritis

Acetaminophen -- best known as Tylenol in the United States -- does not appear to help ease lower back pain and offers little relief for the most common form of arthritis, according to a new report. More>>

Eat right to protect your sight

A number of nutrients can help keep your eyes healthy, and some may even improve your eyesight, an eye doctor says. More>>

Scientists sniff out origins of body odor

There's new hope for people plagued by body odor, with researchers pinpointing bacterial genes that play a major role in the malodorous scent. More>>

Letting kids sip alcohol may 'send wrong message'

Children who are allowed occasional sips of alcohol are more likely to start drinking by the time they're in high school, a new study suggests. More>>

Spring allergies have arrived

It may not feel like it in some parts of the United States, but spring has arrived and that means it's allergy season. More>>

Processed foods the biggest chunk of calories in U.S. groceries

Highly processed foods account for more than 60 percent of the calories in products Americans routinely buy in grocery stores, a new study finds. More>>

Avoid medication overdoses in children

Medications for children -- even those you can buy over-the-counter -- can be dangerous if a child is given too much, one expert says. More>>

Kitchen towels can make you sick

Hand towels are the top contamination hazard in the kitchen, according to a new study. More>>

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>>

Employers contributing less to workers' health savings accounts

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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>>

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>>

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>>

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>>

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>>

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>>

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>>

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

More>>

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>>

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