Health

Cancer death rate: Could location determine a patient’s fate?

CHICAGO (AP) — Americans in certain struggling parts of the country are dying from cancer at rising rates, even as the cancer death rate nationwide continues to fall, an exhaustive new analysis has found. In parts of the country that are relatively poor, and have higher rates of obesity and ...

Why do we need antioxidants — and how do we get them?

By Linda Klope, C.D.E., R.D. ESCANABA — You have undoubtedly heard a lot about the health benefits of antioxidants and the foods that contain them. Chocolate, coffee, tea, blueberries, grapes, red wine are popular sources. The antioxidants in carrots, spinach, kale and broccoli are not ...

New prescription: Doctor offices that look like Apple stores

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — After a relative suffered a heart attack a few years ago, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Adrian Aoun got an unsettling look at a health-care system that he diagnosed as an inefficient and outdated mess. Now he believes he has a remedy. It’s called Forward, a ...

Flabby heart keeps pumping with robotic sleeve

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists are developing a robotic sleeve that can encase a flabby diseased heart and gently squeeze to keep it pumping. So far it’s been tested only in animals, improving blood flow in pigs. But this “soft robotic” device mimics the natural movements of a beating ...

Testing wearable sensors as ‘check engine’ light for health

WASHINGTON (AP) ‚Äî A next step for smart watches and fitness trackers? Wearable gadgets gave a Stanford University professor an early warning that he was getting sick before he ever felt any symptoms of Lyme disease. Geneticist Michael Snyder never had Lyme’s characteristic bulls-eye ...

The good, bad and unknown about marijuana and health

NEW YORK (AP) — It can almost certainly ease chronic pain and might help some people sleep, but it may also raise the risk of getting schizophrenia and trigger heart attacks. Those are among the conclusions about marijuana reached by a federal advisory panel in a report released ...

It’s all good: Any exercise cuts risk of death, study finds

By Marilynn Marchione AP Chief Medical Writer Weekend warriors, take a victory lap. People who pack their workouts into one or two sessions a week lower their risk of dying over roughly the next decade nearly as much as people who exercise more often, new research suggests. Even people ...

Testing stem cells in tiniest hearts to fight birth defect

BALTIMORE (AP) — The 4-month-old on the operating table has a shocking birth defect, nearly half his heart too small or even missing. To save him, surgeons will have to totally reroute how his blood flows, a drastic treatment that doesn’t always work. So this time they are going a step ...

Volunteers get bit to test new strategy for malaria vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) — Researchers infected lab mosquitoes with genetically weakened malaria parasites, and then recruited volunteers willing to be bitten — a lot — to test a possible new strategy for a vaccine. The idea: Vaccinate using living malaria parasites that are too weak to make ...

Brain-injury deaths in high school football players increasing

NEW YORK (AP) — Two dozen high school football players died in recent years from traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, and the annual death count has been growing slightly, according to a new study. But such deaths remain rare, and are far lower than in decades past. Also, it’s not ...

Fish oil pills for pregnant moms may cut asthma risk

By Marilynn Marchione AP Chief Medical Writer Children whose moms took high doses of fish oil during their last three months of pregnancy were less likely to develop chronic wheezing problems or asthma by age 5, finds a study that suggests a possible way to help prevent this growing ...

Diet Res-Illusions: Tips from the pros on how to lose weight

By Marilynn Marchione AP Chief Medical Writer We make ‘em, we break ‘em. New Year’s diet resolutions fall like needles on Christmas trees as January goes on. Genes can work against us. Metabolism, too. But a food behavior researcher has tested a bunch of little ways to tip the ...

Cells dripped into the brain help man fight cancer

By Marilynn Marchione AP Chief Medical Writer A man with deadly brain cancer that had spread to his spine saw his tumors shrink and, for a time, completely vanish after a novel treatment to help his immune system attack his disease — another first in this promising field. The type of ...

Rest may not be best medicine for kids’ concussions

CHICAGO (AP) — Strict rest may not be the best medicine for kids with concussions, a Canadian study found, challenging the idea that physical activity should be avoided until symptoms disappear. A month after their concussions, ongoing or worse symptoms were more common in children and ...

YMCA: Manageable resolutions help make a healthy new year

ESCANABA — Along with singing “Auld Lang Syne” at the start of the New Year, making resolutions is a tradition for millions of Americans. However, while choosing a resolution is easy, sticking to it can be impossible. A 2014 YMCA survey found that less than a quarter of respondents kept ...

Don’t cut the cord too fast; a pause benefits most newborns

WASHINGTON (AP) — Don’t cut that umbilical cord too soon: A brief pause after birth could benefit most newborns by delivering them a surge of oxygen-rich blood. New recommendations for U.S. obstetricians, the latest in a debate over how quick to snip, suggest waiting “at least 30 ...

Brain changes seen in pregnancy, may help mom prepare for baby

NEW YORK (AP) — Pregnancy affects not only a woman’s body: It changes parts of her brain too, a new study says. When researchers compared brain scans of women before and after pregnancy, they spotted some differences in 11 locations. They also found hints that the alterations help women ...

Birth defects seen in 6 percent of US pregnancies in connection with Zika

NEW YORK (AP) — A U.S. study of Zika-infected pregnancies found that 6 percent of them ended in birth defects. The rate was nearly twice as high for women infected early in pregnancy. It’s the first published research on outcomes in the United States, and the authors say the findings echo ...

Women increase use of pot during their pregnancies

CHICAGO (AP) — U.S. women are increasingly using marijuana during pregnancy, sometimes to treat morning sickness, new reports suggest. Though the actual numbers are small, the trend raises concerns because of evidence linking the drug with low birth weights and other problems. In 2014, ...

Does a doctor’s gender affect your chance of survival?

CHICAGO (AP) — What if your doctor’s gender could influence your chance of surviving a visit to the hospital? A big study of older patients hospitalized for common illnesses raises that provocative possibility — and also lots of questions. Patients who got most of their care from women ...