Health News
7/28/2014

Medicare hospital fund to last 4 years longer


Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell speaks at a news conference at the Treasury Department in Washington, Monday, July 28, 2014, to discuss the release of the annual Trustees Reports. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare's finances are looking brighter, the government said Monday. The program's giant hospital trust fund won't be exhausted until 2030 — four years later than last year's estimate.



Peanut company officials stand trial in Georgia in deadly salmonella outbreak


The building of the now-closed Peanut Corporation of America plant is pictured in BlakelyBy David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - The federal trial of three former peanut company officials charged in connection with a salmonella outbreak that killed nine people and sickened hundreds more began on Monday with jury selection in Albany, Georgia. The contamination at the Peanut Corporation of America plant in Blakely, Georgia, led to one of the largest food recalls in U.S. history and forced the company into liquidation. Former owner Stewart Parnell, and his brother, Michael Parnell, a food broker who worked on behalf of the peanut company, were charged last year in a 76-count indictment asserting they created fake certificates showing their products were uncontaminated when laboratory results showed otherwise. The plant's quality control manager, Mary Wilkerson, and Stewart Parnell were also charged with obstruction of justice.



How Ebola Emerged Out of the Jungle


People caring for infected individuals- from friends and relatives who may be taking care of the diseased at home or the doctors treating the ill in hospitals- are among the most commonly infected.

How Ebola Emerged Out of the Jungle in Photos


People caring for infected individuals- from friends and relatives who may be taking care of the diseased at home or the doctors treating the ill in hospitals- are among the most commonly infected.

5 things to know about Ebola outbreak in W. Africa


In this photo taken on Sunday, July 27, 2014, a boy, center, selling soft drinks walk past a clinic taking care of Ebola patients in the Kenema District on the outskirts of Kenema, Sierra Leone. Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has closed some border crossings and ordered strict quarantines of communities affected by the Ebola outbreak. The announcement late Sunday came a day after Sirleaf formed a new taskforce charged with containing the disease, which has killed 129 people in the country and more than 670 across the region.(AP Photo/ Youssouf Bah)DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — There has been panic and fear about the deadly Ebola disease spreading ever since Nigerian health officials reported Friday that a Liberian man sick with the disease had traveled to Togo and then Nigeria before dying. Here are five things to know about Ebola and how it is spread:



Nigeria isolates Lagos hospital where Ebola victim died


Dr. Jide Idris, Lagos' state commissioner for Health, speaks during a news conference on the death of an Ebola victim in LagosBy Tim Cocks LAGOS (Reuters) - The Nigerian city of Lagos shut down and quarantined on Monday a hospital where a man died of Ebola, the first recorded case of the highly infectious disease in Africa's most populous country. Patrick Sawyer, a consultant for the Liberian finance ministry aged in his 40s, collapsed on arrival at Lagos airport on July 20. The decontamination process in all the affected areas has commenced," Lagos state health commissioner Jide Idris told a news conference. Authorities are monitoring a total of 59 people who were in contact with Sawyer, including airport contacts, the Lagos state health ministry said.



Deal on veterans' health care costs at least $15B


In this July 24, 2014, file photo, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to fix a veterans' health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays. Miller and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., scheduled a news conference Monday, July 28, to talk about a compromise plan to improve veterans' care. (AP Photo/File)WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.



Liberia closes borders as Ebola hits major west African cities


Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf speaks in Davos on January 22, 2014Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has announced the closure of most of the Ebola-hit country's land borders after the deadly tropical virus spread to two of west Africa's largest cities. Liberia, along with neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone, is struggling to contain an epidemic that has infected some 1,200 people and left at least 670 dead across the region since the start of the year. Last week authorities in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown and Lagos in Nigeria announced their first cases, marking an alarming new front in the fight against a disease mainly confined to remote villages and rural outposts. "All borders of Liberia will be closed with the exception of major entry points," Sirleaf said in a statement late Sunday.



Florida support for medical marijuana stays near 90 percent: poll


Marijuana plants for sale are displayed at the medical marijuana farmers market in Los AngelesBy Barbara Liston ORLANDO Fla. (Reuters) - Support for legalizing medical marijuana in Florida is holding steady at 88 percent despite weeks of vigorous campaigning by opponents ahead of a November referendum on the issue, a poll released on Monday showed. The survey, conducted by Quinnipiac University, did not specifically ask about the ballot measure but indicated support was well beyond the 60 percent threshold needed for the constitutional amendment to become law. A Quinnipiac poll in May also found that 88 percent of voters backed legalizing marijuana for medical use, up from 82 percent in November 2013. The Florida Sheriffs Association launched its campaign against medical marijuana in April.



AcelRx stock plunges after FDA rejects pain drug device


(Reuters) - Shares of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Inc plunged almost 40 percent after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected its pain treatment late on Friday. The rejection also reduces the lead the drug device, Zalviso, was likely to have over a rival from Medicines Company, which was submitted for approval in late June. Analysts, who were surprised by the decision, said the issues cited by the FDA were "rather mild" and expected Zalviso to eventually receive approval. The FDA in its complete response letter (CRL) sought more data to ensure proper use of the device but did not ask for additional human clinical trials.

Officials: Little risk of Ebola outbreak in US


This photo provided by the CDC shows an ebola Virus. U.S. health officials are monitoring the Ebola outbreak in Africa but say the risk of the deadly germ spreading to the United States is remote. (AP Photo/CDC)NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials are monitoring the Ebola outbreak in Africa but say the risk of the deadly germ spreading to the United States is remote.



Fist bumps less germy than handshakes, study says


FILE - In this May 22, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama fist bumps Chauncy Lorrell Gray, from Chicago, as he approaches the stage to receive his diploma at the United States Naval Academy graduation ceremony in Annapolis, Md. The familiar knocking of knuckles spreads only one-twentieth the amount of bacteria that a handshake does, researchers report. That's better than a high-five, which still passes along less than half the amount as a handshake. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)NEW YORK (AP) — When it comes to preventing the spread of germs, maybe the president is on to something with his fondness for fist bumps.



Deal to improve veterans' health care costs $17B


In this July 24, 2014, file photo, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to fix a veterans' health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays. Miller and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., scheduled a news conference Monday, July 28, to talk about a compromise plan to improve veterans' care. (AP Photo/File)WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan deal announced Monday would authorize about $17 billion to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat veterans and make it easier to fire executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs.



New fears about Ebola spread after plane scare


In this photo taken on Sunday, July 27, 2014, Medical personnel inside a clinic taking care of Ebola patients in the Kenema District on the outskirts of Kenema, Sierra Leone. Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has closed some border crossings and ordered strict quarantines of communities affected by the Ebola outbreak. The announcement late Sunday came a day after Sirleaf formed a new taskforce charged with containing the disease, which has killed 129 people in the country and more than 670 across the region.(AP Photo/ Youssouf Bah)DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — No one knows for sure just how many people Patrick Sawyer came into contact with the day he boarded a flight in Liberia, had a stopover in Ghana, changed planes in Togo, and then arrived in Nigeria, where authorities say he died days later from Ebola, one of the deadliest diseases known to man.



Judge gives go-ahead for $2 billion sale of NBA's Clippers


Shelly Sterling, 79, speaks at a news conference with her lawyer Pierce O'Donnell in Los AngelesBy Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The estranged wife of Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Donald Sterling can proceed with the record $2 billion sale of the NBA team despite her husband's objections, a judge ruled on Monday, in a likely coda to a case of lingering racism in American sports. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas said the deal struck by Shelly Sterling with former Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer was permissible and could be consummated even if Sterling, who has been banned for life from the National Basketball Association for racist remarks, chose to appeal. "She had every good reason to believe that Donald agreed to the sale of the team," said Levanas, who added that he found Donald Sterling's combative testimony at the emotionally charged nine-day trial "often evasive and inconsistent." The ruling was a major victory for an embarrassed NBA and Shelly Sterling, who had asked the probate judge to confirm her as the trustee of the family trust that owns the Clippers.



Doctor who contracted Ebola in grave condition


This photo provided by the CDC shows an ebola Virus. U.S. health officials are monitoring the Ebola outbreak in Africa but say the risk of the deadly germ spreading to the United States is remote. (AP Photo/CDC)FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Kent Brantly always wanted to be a medical missionary, and he took the work seriously, spending months treating a steady stream of patients with Ebola in Liberia.



Nigeria isolates hospital in Lagos as Obama briefed on Ebola outbreak


Abdulsalami Nasidi, director of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Lagos state health commissioner Jide Idris and Lagos Special Advisor on Health Yewande Adesina, speak about the update on the Ebola outbreak during a news conference in LagosBy Tim Cocks LAGOS (Reuters) - The Nigerian city of Lagos shut and quarantined a hospital on Monday where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous country. Patrick Sawyer, a consultant for Liberia's Finance Ministry in his 40s, collapsed on arrival at the Lagos airport on July 20. The decontamination process in all the affected areas has commenced," Lagos state health commissioner Jide Idris told a news conference. Ebola has killed 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since it was first diagnosed in February.



Judge allows $2 billion sale of NBA's Los Angeles Clippers to proceed


Shelly Sterling's lawyer Pierce O'Donnell gestures as he arrives at the court in Los AngelesBy Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The record $2 billion sale of pro basketball's Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft Corp chief executive Steve Ballmer can proceed over the objections of co-owner Donald Sterling, a judge tentatively ruled on Monday. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas said the deal, brokered by Sterling's estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, was permissible and could be consummated even if Sterling, who has been banned for life from the NBA for racist remarks, chose to appeal. The ruling was a major victory for the NBA and Shelly Sterling, who had asked the probate judge to confirm her as the trustee of the family trust that owns the Clippers after having her 80-year-old husband removed when neurologists deemed him to have early Alzheimer's disease and was unable to handle business affairs.



Holocaust victim, artist Charlotte Salomon's life premieres as opera


Antoun as Daberlohn and Crebassa as Kann perform on stage during a dress rehearsal of 'Charlotte Salomon' in SalzburgBy Michael Roddy SALZBURG Austria (Reuters) - The Berlin-born Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon left behind a body of watercolors and text she called "Life? Salomon's life, which has inspired films, plays and a musical, was turned into an opera that plumbed the depths of human emotion in its premiere on Monday at the Salzburg Festival in Austria. With music by French composer Marc-Andre Dalbavie, staging by Swiss director Luc Bondy and libretto by German-Jewish author Barbara Honigmann, who used 85 percent of Salomon's own text, the work was the season's most anticipated opera at the prestigious festival in the city of Mozart's birth. Although a gang of uniformed Nazi toughs appeared at strategic moments as a reminder of the inevitable ending, the opera focused more on the difficult emotional and intellectual problems Salomon faced as a young woman.



Targacept discontinues bladder drug, shares plunge


(Reuters) - Targacept Inc said it was stopping development of a drug to treat overactive bladder after it failed to show significant reduction in incontinence in a mid-stage study. The company's shares fell 32 percent in extended trading after it canceled its third drug development program in eight months and said it may change the direction of its research. Targacept said based on this and previous trial results its key technology did not appear to produce "new treatments with a meaningful improvement over the current standard of care." Targacept's key technology is based on modulating receptors found in the central nervous system which transmit signals between various organ systems and the brain. The company still has one compound based on this technology in clinical development to treat diabetic gastroparesis which causes the partial paralysis of the stomach.

The Helms Amendment Hurts Women and Undermines U.S. Development Efforts Around the World


The Helms Amendment Hurts Women and Undermines U.S. Development Efforts Around the WorldIn August, President Obama will welcome leaders from across the African continent to Washington, DC, for a three-day Africa Leaders Summit, the first such event of its kind to be hosted by the U.S., though China, Japan, India, and the EU have held similar summits with African heads of state. A main goal of the summit is to strengthen ties...



Ebola can spread like 'forest fire,' US warns


Health workers wearing protective suits walk in an isolation center for people infected with Ebola at Donka Hospital in Conakry on April 14, 2014The deadly Ebola virus can spread like a forest fire, US health authorities said Monday, urging travelers to West Africa to take extra precautions amid the largest outbreak in history. Since March, there have been 1,201 cases of Ebola and 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Two Americans -- one doctor and one healthcare worker -- in Monrovia, Liberia have come down with the virus, characterized by fever, joint pain, diarrhea, vomiting and often fatal bleeding. "The likelihood of this outbreak spreading beyond West Africa is very low," admitted Stephan Monroe, deputy director of the CDC's National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.



Family of Texas doctor with Ebola not showing signs of virus


By Colleen Jenkins WINSTON-SALEM N.C. (Reuters) - The family of a Texas doctor who contracted the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa had traveled back to the United States before he showed symptoms and was not at risk for getting or spreading the disease, U.S. health officials said on Monday. Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, is one of two American relief workers to test positive for the highly contagious virus that has killed 672 people across the region in the largest-ever Ebola outbreak, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. He was treating Ebola patients in Monrovia, Liberia, in his role as medical director for a case management center run by North Carolina-based Samaritan’s Purse, a relief organization headed by evangelist Franklin Graham. The organization said a missionary from Charlotte, North Carolina, was also in isolation receiving treatment after testing positive for Ebola.

Doctors Battling Ebola Are Met With Fear, Mistrust


Doctors Struggle To Contain Ebola Outbreak

Medicare's own health looking better, report says


Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, center, flanked by Treasury Secretary and Managing Trustee Jacob J. Lew, left, and Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez, speaks at a news conference at the Treasury Department in Washington, Monday, July 28, 2014, to discuss the release of the annual Trustees Reports. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare's financial future is looking brighter despite a growing wave of baby boomers reaching retirement.



Sierra Leone president visits Ebola center


Medical staff working with Medecins sans Frontieres prepare to bring food to patients kept in an isolation area at the MSF Ebola treatment centre in KailahunFREETOWN (Reuters) - Sierra Leone's president visited the center of an Ebola outbreak on Monday as West African leaders stepped up efforts to contain the spread of the deadly virus. It was Ernest Bai Koroma's first visit to the northeastern district of Kenema since the start of the epidemic that has killed some 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), making it the worst outbreak yet. Sierra Leone has the highest number of Ebola cases, at 525, surpassing neighboring Guinea where the virus was first reported in February. ...



Short jogs linked to lower risk of death from heart disease


By Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who run in their spare time, even if it’s not very fast or very far, tend to have a lower risk of dying from heart disease or from any cause than non-runners, according to a new study. It’s difficult to use more rigorous randomized controlled trials to look at outcomes like death, because that takes so long to track, said lead author Duck-chul Lee, from the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University in Ames. Participants answered questions about their physical activity habits over the past three months, including running speed, duration and frequency. About 3,400 people died during that time, including roughly 1,200 from cardiovascular causes, including heart disease and stroke.

Dementia patients more likely to get pacemakers: study


By Andrew M. Seaman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People with dementia are more likely to get pacemakers than people without any cognitive impairment, according to a new study. The study can’t explain why people with dementia are more likely to get the devices, which help control irregular heart rhythms, according to the lead author. “It may be completely appropriate,” Nicole Fowler said. “There may be something that we haven’t been able to measure that makes people with dementia need them more.” Alternatively, she told Reuters Health that the difference could represent family members or doctors choosing more aggressive treatment for people with dementia.

As the Seasons Change


As the Seasons ChangeWhen I was 19, a wise wino told me, "The truth only hurts for a minute." In September I will turn 60, and that truth hurts for more than a minute. The sad thing is that when (if) I am 70, I will be wishing I were 60, like I wish I were 50, like I wished I were 40 when I turned 50. However, when I turned 40, I was such a party animal that I did...



Quick, short runs pack health benefits: US study


A man runs through Boston Common on April 19, 2014 in Boston, MassachusettsRunning as little as five to 10 minutes per day can significantly cut the risks of getting heart disease and dying young, said the findings in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. People who exercised by running showed a 30 percent lower risk of death and a 45 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than people who did not run at all. "Since time is one of the strongest barriers to participate in physical activity, the study may motivate more people to start running," said lead author Duck-chul Lee, an assistant professor in the Iowa State University Kinesiology Department.



Obama briefed on Ebola outbreak as U.S. agencies provide support: U.S. official


U.S. President Obama participates at the Summit of the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in WashingtonPresident Barack Obama is getting updates on the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, an administration official said on Monday, noting U.S. agencies had increased their assistance in the past several weeks. The outbreak of the highly infectious disease has killed 672 people. The United States has been providing supplies including personal protective equipment, the administration official said. "We have been engaged on this outbreak since April, when the first cases were reported and have increased response significantly over the last several weeks as the outbreak deepened," the official said.



Slower U.S. healthcare cost rise extending life of Medicare fund: trustees


By Jason Lange and David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tamer spending at U.S. hospitals and expected savings from President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul are shoring up the funding outlook for the Medicare program for the elderly, trustees of the program said on Monday. Medicare's trust fund for hospital bills will run out of money in 2030, four years later than previously estimated, the trustees said in a report. The trustees, however, reiterated a warning that the Social Security program would run out of money to fully pay disability benefits by 2016 and could not meet all of its obligations on pensions after 2033. While the arrival date for Medicare's crunch has been pushed into the future, an aging population is already stressing the finances of programs that provide income for the disabled.

Voice of Young Adult Cancer: Who, Me?


Voice of Young Adult Cancer: Who, Me?Two days before I was supposed to leave Thailand and head back to the U.S., my post-college graduation travel high came to a cold stop when I woke up on a boat covered in blood and dirt with a swollen tongue. I asked my friend what happened and she looked at me like I was crazy. She took me out to the stern of the boat, sat me down and in what...



L.A. judge to rule Monday on $2 bln NBA Clippers sale


LOS ANGELES, July 28 (Reuters) - Los Angeles Superior Court judge Michael Levanas said he will rule Monday afternoon on whether club owner Donald Sterling can halt the $2 billion sale of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers. Sterling's estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, has asked Levanas to confirm her having the authority to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in the wake of racist remarks that Donald Sterling made. (Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Writing by Mary Milliken; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

U.S. veterans deal to provide $17 billion to ease medical wait times


Sanders and Miller announce bipartisan legislation to address problems in the VA health care system, at the U.S. Capitol in WashingtonBy David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Leaders of the Veterans Affairs committees in the U.S. Congress said on Monday they had struck a rare compromise deal on legislation that provides about $17 billion in funding to ease long waiting times for VA medical centers. Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent, and Representative Jeff Miller, a Republican, said the figure marks about the halfway point between the competing proposals they announced last week. The compromise measure aims to clear months-long waiting lists at VA hospitals and clinics across the country. The agency has been rocked by scandal over cover-ups of these waiting times, prompting the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki in late May. In Phoenix, doctors have alleged that some 40 veterans died as their names languished on secret waiting lists while officials misrepresented wait-time data to meet targets for bonus compensation.



Drugs to increase 'good' cholesterol may not cut deaths


By Andrew M. Seaman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Drugs that have been investigated to increase so-called “good” cholesterol may not prevent deaths, heart attacks or strokes as many hoped, according to a new analysis. Due to limitations in existing studies and ongoing experiments involving these and other drugs, researchers not involved with the analysis caution that it’s too early to give up on medications that increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, however. “In the time before statins were available, there were several pieces of evidence that HDL-raising drugs reduce cardiovascular events, but since the time statins have been used there is now evidence that HDL-targeted therapies don’t do anything to decrease mortality,” said Dr. Darrel Francis, the study’s senior author from Imperial College London. Unlike low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is the so-called “bad” cholesterol that piles up in blood vessels, HDL is considered good because it’s thought to chip away LDL cholesterol.

Fist bumps relay 90 percent less germs than handshakes: study


U.S. President Obama fist bumps the cashier after paying for his order at Franklin Barbecue in AustinDitching handshakes in favor of more informal fist bumps could help cut down on the spread of bacteria and illnesses, according to a study released on Monday. The study in the American Journal of Infection Control found that fist bumps, where two people briefly press the top of their closed fists together, transferred about 90 percent less bacteria than handshakes. "People rarely think about the health implications of shaking hands," Dave Whitworth, a biologist at Aberystwyth University in the United Kingdom who co-authored the study, said in a statement. The fist bump appears to enjoy the support of both U.S. President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama, both of whom have been seen enthusiastically using the greeting, the study notes.



One drink. 8 cookies. Same sugar.



Vaccines are safe. Seriously.


Children should get vaccinated against preventable and potentially deadly diseases. Period.

Heavy drinker? You'd be surprised


One in 10 deaths among working-age adults are due to excessive alcohol consumption. But what really constitutes "heavy drinking"?

You don't want this surgeon


You might be impressed that your doctor can perform a wide variety of procedures, but sometimes having an expert in just one or two is best, Dr. Anthony Youn says.

Federal marijuana bill would legalize some strains


The bill would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exempt marijuana plants with an extremely low percentage of THC, the chemical that makes users high.

100 pounds down with plant-based diet


For years Benji Kurtz was severely obese. He tried diet after diet. Then the solution to his weight loss problem found him.

How to avoid being hit by lightning


CNN's Holly Firfer tells us the best ways to avoid being hit by lightning.

This won't be the AIDS-free generation


In the United States, 26% of all new HIV infections are among young people ages 13 to 24. Yet only 1 in 5 high school students is tested for HIV.

CDC reopens TB lab


A lab crucial to diagnosing cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reopened, according to the CDC.

Training for your first triathlon? 4 common Qs


Tackling your first triathlon? Even the best triathletes in the world started somewhere -- and made their share of rookie mistakes.

What Obamacare court decisions mean for you


Two U.S. appeals courts have issued conflicting rulings on Obamacare subsidies. Check out this FAQ.

More stores affected by fruit recall


Bought fruit at Costco, Trader Joe's, Kroger or Walmart recently? Contamination concerns at a packing plant have stores clearing their shelves.

5 myths about the urge to 'go'


Even though urinary incontinence affects about 25 million Americans and there are many treatment options to improve symptoms, talking about the often unexpected and always urgent need "to go" is still taboo, even with your doctor.

Cancer overtreatment must stop


Studies found that a large number of American men with prostate cancer get unnecessary and aggressive treatment, Dr. Otis Brawley says.

Can meditation slow aging?


Researchers are trying to show that meditation could help counter the aging process.

5 things to know about Alzheimer's


Approximately 44 million people live with dementia worldwide, according to the Alzheimer's Association. By 2050, that number is expected to more than triple to 115 million.

Science limited on the drinking age


On July 17, 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which withheld a percentage of highway funds from any state that didn't raise the minimum drinking age to 21.

7 things to know about epilepsy


An estimated 2.3 million adults in the United States have epilepsy, according to the CDC. Actress Sky McCole Bartusiak was one of them.

You CAN fight your greatest fears


Fear is something that consumes all of us at one time or another. But can your fears change?

MERS may be airborne


The deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus may be transmitted through the air, according to a new observation paper.

Is your firefighter too fat?


More than 70% of U.S. firefighters are overweight or obese, a rate higher than the American public, according to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What makes me so tasty?


The colors you wear and the food you eat don't matter. We bust five common mosquito bite myths to help you stop the itch.

Natural fixes for summer hazards



Do's and don'ts for summertime sex


The weather doesn't have to be the only thing heating up this month. Summer is an excellent time to recharge and rejuvenate -- and your love life should be no exception.

Overweight kids don't see it


CNN's Andy Rose tells us that most overweight children don't perceive themselves that way.

The healthiest fish to eat?


As our oceans become more polluted, Sally Kohn sits down with Fabien Cousteau to talk about the healthiest fish to eat.

Plastic surgery gone wrong


Dr. Terry Dubrow and Dr. Paul Nassif from E!'s new show "Botched" discuss the risks and complications of plastic surgery.

Ha! Laughter is the best medicine


Scott Weems, author of "Ha! The Science of When we Laugh and Why," speaks with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Sleep more, lose weight


Dr. Sanjay Gupta tells us how sleeping more can actually help you feel less hungry.

Pregnant and she didn't know it


A Seymour, Connecticut, woman gave birth after being pregnant for 9 months with no idea she was carrying a baby.

Say 'Hello.' You'll live longer


Dr. Sanjay Gupta tells us how something as simple, and as nice, as saying "hello" can help you live to 100.

Men take their health to heart


A father who lost his dad and brother to heart disease intends to avoid the same fate. CNN's Holly Firfer reports.

String may help you live to 100


Dr. Sanjay Gupta tells us how flossing regularly not only helps prevent heart disease but can also help you live to 100.

Twin boys born 24 days apart


Due to a delayed delivery, a set of twins in Massachusetts were born 24 days apart. WCVB's Mary Saladna reports.

Is red meat really bad for you?


CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks with Nina Teicholz, author of "The Big Fat Surprise."

This is your body on weed


Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains how marijuana affects the brain and how pot can be used to treat certain conditions.

See man after 700-lb. loss


Robert Walls tipped the scales at 950 lbs. before he made a big decision that helped him shed hundreds of pounds.

Teacher eats only McDonald's


A teacher only eats McDonald's for 90 days, and LOSES 37 pounds. KCCI reports.

Selfies leading to head lice


Nurses report "selfie" posts are causing an increase in teenagers spreading lice.

World's most dangerous workout?


Is the "sport of fitness" the world's most dangerous workout? CNN's Jarrett Bellini asks CrossFitters and gives it a go.

Hear Mrs. O rap for healthy foods


First lady Michelle Obama raps about food at an event to propose limits on the types of foods advertised in schools.

Brain dead: What it is, what it isn't


CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains how doctors determine if a patient is brain dead.

Liberia closes its borders to stop Ebola


The deadliest Ebola outbreak in history continues to plague West Africa as two American health care workers fight off infections.

Train like a lady lumberjack


Shana Verstegen started logrolling when she was 7. The sport has made her a six-time world champion and given her six-pack abs.

Spanking's effect on kids' brains


Researchers say physical punishment actually alters the brain -- not only in an "I'm traumatized!" kind of way, but also in an "I literally have less gray matter in my brain!" kind of way.

How not to get hit by lightning


CNN's Holly Firfer tells us the best ways to avoid being hit by lightning.

Lumberjack champion offers tips


Shana Verstegen started logrolling when she was 7. The sport has made her a six-time world champion and given her six-pack abs.

He lost 100 pounds with this diet


For years Benji Kurtz was severely obese. He tried diet after diet. Then the solution to his weight loss problem found him.

Drops 100 pounds 'marathon' style


When Nicole Durham finally decided it was time to lose weight, she knew she had a long way to go. See her amazing transformation:

You won't believe the 'after' pics


Robert and Jessica Foster lost 160 and 120 pounds respectively after an emotional conversation. See their amazing transformation:

Lost 153 pounds, proved doc wrong


Kerry Hoffman started working out five days a week and tracking calories to go from 343 pounds to 190. See his amazing transformation.

Get off the sideline, into the race


Only a few short months ago, I was a spectator.

If I can run, so can you


For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be able to say, "I've run a 5K."

Sun 'can harm sight as well as skin'


How the sun can damage sight as well as skin

Preventing injury and illness in athletes


Preventing injury and illness in athletes

CAR: Fighting spreads like infection


Trying to save CAR, where fighting spreads like an infection

In pictures: One man's HIV campaign


One man's HIV campaign in Indonesia's Bandung prison

Illegal bottom injections on rise in US


The deadly danger of illegal backstreet buttock injections

VIDEO: Heroin antidote offers cities hope


The heroin 'antidote' that can save overdosing addicts' lives

A life-saving cure with an $84,000 price tag


High cost of hepatitis C cure sparks outrage

Anatomy of female genital mutilation


What is it and why is it still being carried out across the world?

First aid for the mind


First aid for the mind

The 90-year-old sex guru


The wisecracking 90-year-old whose agony column is a cult hit

Caring for Kenya's HIV orphans


Finding the right drugs to care for Kenya's HIV orphans

Seeing a doctor for the first time in seven years


The Americans seeing a doctor for the first time in years

Liberia shuts borders to curb Ebola


Most border crossings in Liberia are closed and communities hit by an Ebola outbreak face quarantine to stop the virus spreading.

Six seconds 'can transform health'


Short six-second bursts of vigorous exercise have the potential to transform the health of elderly people, say researchers.

Fist bumps 'cleaner than handshakes'


Scientists at Aberystwyth University in Wales have shown that more bacteria are transferred by shaking hands, than by fist-bumping or high-fiving.

'Nerve centre for appetite control'


Scientists have found a key cluster of nerve cells that can stop food consumption, according to research in mice.

Sierra Leone Ebola escapee dies


A Sierra Leone woman who fled hospital after testing positive for the Ebola virus has died after turning herself in, health officials tell the BBC.

'New virus' discovered in human gut


Scientists say they have stumbled upon a common virus that has never been described before.

US manhunt for tuberculosis patient


Authorities in California search for a fugitive homeless man who has refused treatment for tuberculosis and may be contagious.

Bedtime light 'may stop cancer drug'


Even dimly lit bedrooms may stop breast cancer drugs from working, according to US research.

Shift workers 'face diabetes risk'


Type 2 diabetes is more common in people who work shifts, with effects on waistlines, hormones and sleep increasing the risk, a study suggests.

Paracetamol for back pain questioned


Taking paracetamol for lower back pain does not improve recovery time or provide any greater pain relief than using a placebo, scientists say.

Indian boy has 232 teeth removed


Doctors in India extract 232 teeth from the mouth of a 17-year-old boy in a seven-hour operation.

S Leone chief Ebola doctor infected


The doctor leading the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone is now being treated for the deadly virus, a statement from the presidency says.

Genetic clues to age of first period


The timing of when a girl reaches puberty is controlled by hundreds of genes, say scientists.

Quarantine over China plague death


Part of a city in north-west China is sealed off and dozens of people placed in quarantine after a man died of bubonic plague, state media say.

Glaxo profits fall hits shares


GlaxoSmithKline shares fall 6% as the drugs company's profits are hit by a slide in sales and a bribery investigation in China.

Early risers 'less moral at night'


"Morning people", who are more alert early in the day, are more likely to cheat and behave unethically in the night hours, researchers claim.

Do friends have similar genomes?


A study from US researchers suggests that friends are more genetically similar than strangers - to the same degree as fourth cousins.

Should we pay a monthly membership fee to the NHS?


Should we pay to be members of the NHS?

'Most dangerous day of their life'


The first is the most dangerous of life

VIDEO: Yoga all at sea


SUP yoga, or stand up paddleboard yoga, involves most of the moves of normal yoga, but is done on a paddleboard in the water.

VIDEO: Water ATMs bring clean water to Delhi


The authorities is Delhi are piloting water dispensing machines to bring clean water to residents.

AUDIO: Shift work 'increases diabetes risk'


IOSH's Jane White and London Business School's Lynda Gratton discuss new research suggesting Type 2 diabetes is more common in people who work shifts.

VIDEO: Clue to antibiotic resistance spread


Scientists trying to understand the rise of antibiotic resistance believe pilgrimages could provide clues to the mechanisms behind its spread.

VIDEO: Healthy start for newborns


A new study shows that newborn babies can reap the health benefits of a delay in cutting their umbilical cord - whilst they're safe in their mothers' arms.

VIDEO: The six-year hair pulling selfie


Documenting hair pulling condition on YouTube

VIDEO: Cholera outbreak in South Sudan


A cholera outbreak has spread to nine out of 10 states in South Sudan.

Life Alert® is a registered trademark of Life Alert Emergency Response, Inc.
© Copyright 1987 - 2013, Life Alert, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.