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Fully Immunized Colin Powell Dies of COVID: Can Vaccines Protect You?

Colin Powell, the first Black person to become Secretary of State, and a statesman who helped shape U.S. foreign policy for decades, died Monday of complications from COVID-19. He was 84.

"General Colin L. Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away this morning due to complications from COVID-19," the Powell family wrote in a Facebook

Heart Defibs in Schools Are Saving Staff Lives: Study

Adult staff in schools are more likely than students to suffer sudden cardiac arrest, but automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are often used and improve the chances of survival, a new study finds.

AEDs are portable devices that deliver an electric shock to try and restart the heart. If appropriate action isn't taken immediately, cardiac arrest is often fatal.

"Most research on...

Over 140,000 U.S. Children Have Lost a Caregiver to COVID-19

It is an excruciating statistic: One in every four COVID-19 deaths in the United States leaves a child without a parent or other caregiver, researchers report.

The analysis of data shows that from April 2020 to July 2021, more than 120,000 children under the age of 18 lost a primary caregiver (a parent or grandparent who provided housing, basic needs and care), and about 22,000 lost a sec...

U.S. Murder Rate Up 30% During Pandemic, Highest One-Year Rise Ever

The rate at which homicide is taking the lives of Americans jumped by 30% over the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic — the largest year-to-year increase ever, new federal government figures show.

The rate jumped from 6 homicides per 100,000 people in 2019 to 7.8 per 100,000 in 2020, according to provisional data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Cente...

Abuse in Childhood May Shorten Adult Lives: Study

Child abuse and neglect can do significant and long-lasting damage, according to a six-decade review of British data.

The analysis of records dating to the late 1950s found that children who experienced physical or sexual abuse were more likely to die early as adults.

"Our work shows the long-lasting consequences that specific types of child abuse and neglect can have. The findings ...

Minorities Bore the Brunt of U.S. COVID Deaths: Study

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has hit minority groups in the United States hard, with significantly more deaths among Black and Hispanic Americans compared with white and Asian Americans, a new study finds.

According to the report, these disparities highlight the need to address ongoing inequities influencing health and longevity in the United States.

What's more, "focusing on CO...

U.S. Passes 700,000 COVID Deaths

The United States has now surpassed 700,000 coronavirus deaths, as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to hold the country in its grip.

America continues to have more COVID-19 deaths than any other the country in the world, followed by Brazil with more than 597,000 deaths, and India with more than 448,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster
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  • October 4, 2021
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  • U.S. Nursing Home Deaths Rise as Delta Spreads

    There has been a significant increase in COVID-related deaths in nursing homes as the highly contagious Delta spreads across the country, a new analysis shows.

    "While the vast majority of COVID-19 deaths happened outside of nursing homes in July and August, the high rate of increase within nursing homes indicates that residents and staff in these settings are at risk of death during the D...

    Shape, Size of Brain Arteries May Predict Stroke Risk

    The size and shape of the blood vessels in your brain may help predict your risk of an often-fatal type of stroke, called an aneurysm, a new study finds.

    An aneurysm is a bulge in an artery wall.

    "A subarachnoid hemorrhage is the most dangerous type of stroke and occurs when a brain aneurysm leaks or ruptures, causing bleeding into the brain, killing more than 50% of affected peop...

    How the COVID Pandemic Made the Opioid Epidemic Worse, Even as Telehealth Helped

    The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up the U.S. opioid crisis in ways bad and good, increasing the risk of use and overdose but also spurring innovative approaches to treatment.

    The pandemic has definitely been linked to an increase in opioid use and overdose deaths, Tufts University's Thomas Stopka said during a HealthDay Now video interview.

    "We've been seeing increases in o...

    Over Half of Police Killings Aren't Reported, Blacks Most Likely Victims

    While high-profile cases like the 2020 killing of George Floyd have cast a harsh spotlight on police violence in the United States, researchers say deaths attributable to it have been underreported for at least 40 years.

    That's the key finding in a new study published Sept. 30 in The Lancet.

    For the study, a team from the University of Washington School of Medicine, in Se...

    AHA News: Severe Mental Health Disorders May Increase Risk of Death in Men With Heart Failure

    Men with heart failure have worse long-term survival rates if they have severe depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, according to a new study that urges doctors to change the way they treat people with mental disorders.

    Previous research shows people with these conditions have an earlier onset of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart attack. But little was known about how heart...

    DEA Warns of Fentanyl in Counterfeit Opioid Pills

    People buying pills that look like prescription opioid painkillers or stimulants who are not buying them from a licensed pharmacy may be buying a lethal drug, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration warned this week.

    This was the first public safety alert the DEA has issued in six years, CNN reported.

    Many of these counterfeit pills are laced with fentanyl and methamphet...

    Weight Loss Surgery More Dangerous for Men Than Women: Study

    Weight loss surgery is riskier for men than women, with males five times more likely to die within 30 days of the procedure, a new study finds.

    Moreover, men's odds of dying over the long run are almost three times higher, said researchers who looked at thousands of weight loss (bariatric) procedures in obese patients in Austria.

    The reason? Compared to women, men who opt for weight...

    Murders Surged in U.S. in 2020

    A record increase was seen in the number of murders in the United States in 2020, in the biggest one-year jump reported since federal officials began tracking homicides in 1960.

    Figures showed 4,901 more murders committed in 2020 than in 2019. A total of roughly 21,500 people were killed last year, according to data from 16,000 law enforcement agencies across the country. While the number...

    Infant Deaths Spark Baby Loungers Recall

    The death of eight babies has prompted the Boppy Company and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to recall more than 3 million baby loungers, they announced Thursday.

    A year ago, the CPSC issued a safety warning about similar pillow-like baby products, CBS News reported.

    When babies are placed on their back, side, or stomach on these loungers there i...

    COVID Has Killed More Americans Than the Spanish Flu Did in 1918

    As the highly contagious Delta variant has swept across the United States, the country has reached a tragic milestone.

    COVID-19 has now killed more Americans than the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic did, when roughly 675,000 people died.

    It didn't have to be that way.

    "Big pockets of American society — and worse, their leaders — have thrown this away" by not getting vaccinated, ...

    Animal Sedative Is Driving Rise in Fatal Drug ODs

    An animal tranquilizer, xylazine, is increasingly linked to drug overdose deaths across the United States, health officials say.

    According to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, xylazine has turned up in overdose deaths in 25 of 38 states examined. In 2019, xylazine contributed to death in 64% of cases and almost always also involved fentanyl.

    The ...

    Opioid Use Disorder Is as Deadly as Heart Attack: Study

    Hospitalized opioid addicts die at a rate similar to people who have a heart attack after leaving the hospital.

    Nearly 8% of patients addicted to opioids died within 12 months of hospital discharge, according to researchers from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).

    "We need systems that can address comprehensive needs of people with substance use disorder and serious medical ...

    Why Logging May Be the Most Dangerous Profession

    Logging and landscaping are the most dangerous jobs in America, a new study finds.

    The risk of death for loggers is more than 30 times higher than for all U.S. workers. Tree care workers also encounter hazards at rates far higher than a typical worker.

    "This was the first research to look at commercial logging and landscaping services together," said Judd Michael, a professor of agr...

    After an ICU Stay, Social Support Crucial for Seniors' Survival

    Older adults who are socially isolated are more likely to experience serious disability or die after a stay in the intensive care unit (ICU), new research reveals.

    "This important research finding sheds light on a crucial health care issue that has become more dire during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr. E. Albert Reece, dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, in Baltimore....

    Wildfires Cause More Than 33,000 Deaths Globally Each Year

    Wildfires are killing people around the world -- even those with limited exposure to wildfire-related pollution, an international team of researchers reports.

    The new research revealed that short-term exposure to wildfire-related fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the air is i...

    High Viral Load in Lungs Drives Fatal COVID-19: Study

    A high amount of coronavirus in the lungs is a major contributor to death in COVID-19 patients, new research shows.

    The findings challenge previous theories that simultaneous infections such as pneumonia or an overreaction of the body's immune system are significant factors in COVID-19 deaths, the researchers noted.

    To come to that conclusion, the investigators analyzed bacterial an...

    Record High COVID Cases and Deaths Reported in Florida

    Coronavirus cases and deaths in Florida are at record highs as the Delta variant ravages the state and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis holds firm on forbidding vaccine and mask mandates.

    As of Tuesday, Florida had reported a record average of 227 COVID-19 deaths a day this week, and the average number of new known cases reached 23,314 a day on the weekend, 30% higher than the state's previou...

    Early U.S. Vaccine Rollout Saved 140,000 Lives, Prevented 3 Million COVID Cases

    The United States' early rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations may have saved nearly 140,000 lives, a new study suggests.

    Using data on state vaccination campaigns and COVID-19 deaths, researchers estimate that immunizations prevented 139,393 deaths nationwide between December 2020 and early May 2021.

    On the state level, vaccinations prevented an average of five deaths for every 10,000 r...

    Why Losing Someone to Violence Can Be Especially Tough to Get Over

    It can take years for a survivor of a traumatic event to recover from the loss of a loved one, new research shows, but treating the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) early may help prevent what's called complicated grief.

    "Grief is a normal response to the loss of someone close, but traumatic losses may severely harm survivors for years," said lead study autho...

    Death of Spouse Could Raise Men's Odds for Prostate Cancer

    Widowers have a higher risk for advanced prostate cancer than men who are part of a couple, Canadian researchers say.

    The new findings are from an analysis of 12 studies comparing 14,000 men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer and 12,000 healthy men.

    The study -- recently published in the European Journal of Epidemiology -- suggests that social environment is an important ...

    Sleep Apnea Doubles Odds for Sudden Death

    With apologies to William Shakespeare, this is the stuff bad dreams are made of: Sleep apnea may double your risk for sudden death.

    The condition -- in which a person's airway is repeatedly blocked during sleep, causing pauses in breathing -- may also increase the risk for high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure, new research shows.

    "This [study] ad...

    Drug Makers Reach $26 Billion Deal on Opioid Lawsuits

    A proposed $26 billion settlement on opioid-related lawsuits has been reached with four large drug companies, a group of state attorneys general announced Wednesday.

    If enough states sign on to the deal with the country's three major drug distributors -- Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen and McKesson -- and pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, the companies could be released from all ...

    1.5 Million Kids Worldwide Lost Parent or Other Caregiver to COVID-19

    In yet another finding that illustrates the tragic toll the pandemic has taken on families around the world, a new study shows that 1.5 million children have lost a parent, grandparent or other caregiver to COVID-19.

    "For every two COVID-19 deaths worldwide, one child is left behind to face the death of a parent or caregiver. By April 30, 2021, these 1.5 million children had become the tr...

    Lockdowns' Effects on Health Still Less Than Harm From Pandemic: Experts

    While there's been much talk about pandemic lockdowns being a burden on people's health, new research finds the effects of large COVID-19 outbreaks are typically worse.

    "It is unlikely that government interventions have been worse than the pandemic itself in most situations," say the authors of an international study published July 19 in the BMJ Global Health.

    There's been ...

    Statin Users May Have Added Protection Against Severe COVID-19

    Could cholesterol-lowering statins help lower your risk of dying from COVID-19?

    For patients with a history of high blood pressure or heart disease, the answer appears to be yes. At least that's the conclusion of a new study that enlisted roughly 10,500 patients across 104 U.S. hospitals between January and September of 2020.

    All had been admitted with a serious bout of...

    Antibiotic-Resistant Pneumonia Is Killing Children in Bangladesh -- Could It Spread?

    Antibiotic-resistant bacteria is causing deadly pneumonia infections among large numbers of children in the South Asian nation of Bangladesh, a rising threat that could one day reach American shores, experts warn.

    Doctors found these "superbug" bacteria in more than three of four children with a positive blood culture for bacterial pneumonia while being treated at a major Bangladesh hospi...

    Climate Change Already Causes 5 Million Extra Deaths Per Year

    Climate change has already become deadly enough to cause 5 million extra deaths worldwide each year, researchers report.

    "This is the first study to get a global overview of mortality due to non-optimal temperature conditions between 2000 and 2019, the hottest period since the pre-industrial era," said study co-leader Yuming Guo, a professor at Monash University in Australia.

    The fi...

    COVID Falls From America's #1 Killer to #7 by June

    A steep rise in vaccination rates has dropped COVID-19 from the first to the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, a new analysis shows.

    The disease was the third leading cause of death for much of 2020, but became the leading cause of death in December 2020 and early 2021, reaching a peak of 3,136 deaths per day in January 2021 and far surpassing U.S. deaths from heart dis...

    Delicious & Deadly: Southern U.S. Diet Tied to Higher Odds for Sudden Death

    Planning to celebrate the Fourth of July with a traditional Southern-style spread of fried chicken, pork rinds, buttermilk biscuits and sweet tea?

    Don't make it an everyday habit.

    These staples of a regional diet heavy in fried foods, fats and sugary drinks may boost your odds for sudden cardiac death, a new study warns.

    The good news: You might be able to lower that risk by ...

    Unhappy Marriages Could Mean Shorter Lives for Men

    Men, take note: An unhappy marriage might end in divorce, but staying unhappily hitched could also raise your risk of stroke or early death, a new Israeli study suggests.

    The increased risk was as much as that seen with smoking or a 'couch potato' lifestyle, said lead researcher Shahar Lev-Ari, chair of health promotion at Tel Aviv University School of Public Health.

    Israeli men who...

    Drop in Life Expectancy From COVID Much Worse for Black, Hispanic Americans

    The COVID-19 pandemic dealt a significant blow to life expectancy in the United States, researchers say.

    Overall, American life expectancy dropped by just over one year in 2020. But researchers found the pandemic hit minority groups even harder, shaving more than three years off the life expectancy of Hispanic people and almost two years off that of Black people.

    The numbers "give y...

    COVID Deaths Drop to New Lows in U.S., While Vaccination Rates Climb

    The United States reached two promising pandemic milestones on Monday: COVID-19 deaths dropped below 300 a day and 150 million Americans are now fully vaccinated.

    COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in America in 2020, behind only heart disease and cancer, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But as the pandemic loosens its grip on this country, it h...

    Gun Suicides Are Rising Steeply Among American Youth

    A rising number of young Americans, including children, are taking their own lives using firearms, a new study finds.

    Researchers found that between 2008 and 2018, gun suicides showed an "alarming" increase among Americans aged 5 to 24. And while those suicides remain rare among children, the rate among kids under 15 quadrupled during the study period.

    It's well known that youth sui...

    Obesity Could Raise Odds for 'Long-Haul' COVID Symptoms

    If you're obese, you're far more likely to have long-lasting health issues if you get COVID-19 and survive, a new study warns.

    You are more likely than patients who aren't obese to be hospitalized. You're more likely wind up in the intensive care unit, need to be put on a ventilator and suffer from long-haul COVID than patients who aren't obese, researchers reported.

    "About 40% of C...

    New Links Between Poor Sleep, Diabetes and Death

    A combination of poor sleep and diabetes significantly increases a person's risk of early death, a new study finds.

    The analysis of data from nearly 500,000 middle-aged adults in the United Kingdom showed that compared to other folks, the risk of death from any cause over nearly nine years was 87% higher among those with diabetes and frequent sleep disturbances. It was 12% higher among th...

    Death Rates Are Rising Across Rural America

    In rural America, more people die from chronic health conditions and substance abuse than in suburbs and cities, and the gap is widening.

    Researchers report in a new study that the difference in rural and urban death rates tripled over the past 20 years mostly due to deaths among middle-aged white men and women.

    "We looked at all-cause death, and found that instead of the difference...

    Global Warming to Blame for 1 in 3 Heat-Related Deaths Worldwide

    Human-caused global warming is responsible for more than one-third of heat-related deaths worldwide, but the proportion is much higher in certain countries, a new study finds.

    Researchers analyzed data gathered between 1991 and 2018 from 732 locations in 43 countries. They concluded that 37% of all heat-related deaths in recent summer periods were attributable to the warming of the planet...

    Global Warming Could Bring More Stillbirths, Study Warns

    Rising temperatures caused by climate change could trigger a worldwide increase in stillbirths, researchers warn.

    The team at the University of Queensland in Australia analyzed 12 studies on the subject. They found that exposure to extremely high temperatures throughout pregnancy appeared to increase risk of stillbirth, particularly late in pregnancy.

    "Overall, risk of stillbirth ap...

    COVID Caused Almost 1 Million Extra Deaths Across 29 Wealthy Countries

    COVID-19 caused nearly 1 million excess deaths in 29 wealthy nations in 2020, with the United States claiming the highest number, researchers report.

    Excess deaths refer to the number of deaths above what's expected during a given time period.

    Overall, there were an estimated 979,000 excess deaths in the 29 countries last year.

    The five countries with the highest number of ex...

    Fully Vaccinated Travelers Can Soon Visit EU Countries

    The fully vaccinated will soon be welcome to visit countries in the European Union, officials there announced Wednesday.

    The new measures for tourists and other travelers could take effect as early as next week, The New York Times reported.

    Visitors will be allowed into the bloc's 27 member states if they've been fully immunized with vaccines approved by the European Union...

    Most Severe COVID Cases Involve Neuro Issues, and They're More Often Fatal

    Neurological problems are occurring in a very high percentage of hospitalized COVID-19 patients -- and what's worse, those symptoms foretell a bad end for many sufferers, a new study finds.

    About four out of five people sick enough to be hospitalized for COVID-19 suffer some sort of neurological problem, ranging from headache and a loss of sense of smell to confusion, delirium, stroke a...

    Why Sleep Raises Risk for Sudden Death in People With Epilepsy

    New research gives insight into why people with epilepsy are at increased risk of sudden death during sleep.

    The study found that both sleep and epileptic seizures work together to slow heart rate, and that seizures also disrupt the body's natural regulation of sleep-related changes.

    These factors can sometimes lead to sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), which caused the 20...

    Race, Neighborhood Affects How Long You'll Live After Heart Attack

    The risk of dying within five years of a heart attack is notably higher among poor Americans than their wealthier peers, but race also plays a role, a new study reveals.

    While Black residents of poor neighborhoods appear to face a higher risk of death than their counterparts in wealthier ZIP codes, poor Black patients are also more likely to die after a heart attack than poor white patien...