Public Health

Report: High blood pressure is dangerously neglected

A comprehensive report from the U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) suggests that treating and preventing high blood pressure—which causes nearly half of all cases of heart failure each year in the U.S.—needs to be a higher public health priority. The report highlights some grim figures: roughly one in three American adults has high

Don’t put burning candles in your ears, FDA says

As the L.A. Times health blog reports, the Food and Drug Administration recently issued a warning advising consumers not to use “ear candles”—fabric that is soaked in either paraffin or beeswax, set on fire and deliberately placed in the ear. These candles, which allow wax to drip into the ear canal (if you don’t set your hair on fire

Do flexible work conditions make healthier employees?

Much time and effort has been dedicated to researching the mental health benefits of flexible work environments, but can the ability to leave work early to watch your son’s soccer game, or arrive at the office a bit later in the morning in order to see to some personal errands, have broader physical health benefits beyond making you feel

More young women in deadly drunk-driving crashes

Closing the societal gender gap is a noble goal, but there is at least one area where women shouldn’t be striving to outdo men: drunk driving. While, in keeping with historic trends, overall men are still more likely to get into deadly alcohol-related accidents than women, a new study published in the journal Injury Prevention suggests

Ill-fitting condoms undermine use, STD protection

Wearing a condom that doesn’t fit correctly—is too big, for example—may increase the chances of the condom breaking, slipping or coming off or being taken off during intercourse, increasing the risk for sexually transmitted infections, according to a study from researchers at the College of Public Health at the University of

Nurse in legal trouble for reporting doctor

A Texas nurse is on trial this week for reporting a doctor whose practices she believed endangered patients. As Kevin Sack of the New York Times reports, last year Anne Mitchell submitted a report expressing her concerns about Dr. Rolando G. Arafiles Jr.’s prescription and surgical procedures—including sewing a rubber tip onto a

Moldy-smelling Tylenol recalled

Johnson & Johnson, the company that manufacturers Tylenol, issued a voluntary recall of several batches of Tylenol, Motrin and Rolaids products in light of reports that the pills were giving off “an unusual moldy, musty, or mildew-like odor,” and had been linked to bouts of diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain in a small number of

E. Coli in the fountain soda supply?

Soda fountains may dispense more than Diet Coke and Dr. Pepper, according to new research to be published this month in the International Journal of Food Microbiology. In an analysis of 90 soda and water samples taken from fountains in 30 different fast food restaurants in the Roanoke Valley region of Virginia, researchers from Hollins

Are kids too clean for their own good?

Raising children in an über-hygienic atmosphere may inhibit immune system development key to fighting infection and disease later in life, according to a new study from researchers at Northwestern University. Researchers followed a group of more than 3,000 Filipino children from their mother’s third trimester of pregnancy through 22

Fear of lawsuits may drive doctors to overuse antibiotics

The growing number of Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in hospitals may in part be driven by physicians’ tendency to over-prescribe antibiotics to avoid being sued by disgruntled patients, according to a study published this past fall in the American Journal of Therapeutics. Researchers from New York Medical

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