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Hot Discovery: Chili Peppers Might Extend Your Life

The spice that adds punch to your favorite Kung Pao chicken, Tex-Mex chili or Indian curry may also help save your life.

Preliminary research shows that eating chili pepper may reduce your risk of death from heart disease, cancer and other causes, building on past studies that have found chili pepper to have health benefits.

"I think a lot of people are going to find this informatio...

Dangerous COVID-19 Syndrome First Seen in Kids Also Strikes Adults

When the new coronavirus pandemic first began, respiratory distress immediately became the hallmark of severe COVID-19 illness. News reports focused on the inability to breathe, low oxygen saturation levels and the alarming need for ventilators.

But six months later, experts are becoming increasingly concerned about a very different COVID-19 phenomenon, one that spares the lungs only ...

'Love Hormone' Could Hold Key to Treating COVID

The so-called love hormone, oxytocin, may be worth investigating as a treatment for COVID-19, a new study suggests.

One of the most serious complications of infection with the new coronavirus is a "cytokine storm," in which the body attacks its own tissues.

There are currently no U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments for COVID-19, which means that "repurposin...

Human Biology Appears to Have Two Seasons, Not Four: Study

The human body apparently disagrees with Mother Nature on how many seasons there are.

Instead of four seasons, human biology appears to have two, according to a team of Stanford University researchers.

"We're taught that the four seasons -- winter, spring, summer and fall -- are broken into roughly equal parts throughout the year, and I thought, 'Well, who says?' " said Mich...

Mental Health Issues Double the Odds of Dying With COVID-19, Study Finds

People suffering from a psychiatric disorder could be more than twice as likely to die if they become infected with COVID-19, a new study suggests.

Folks diagnosed with any type of psychiatric problem -- anxiety or depression, dementia, psychosis -- were up to 2.3 times more likely to die in the hospital from COVID-19, researchers found.

"Those who had COVID who had a prior ...

Exposing Babies to Wheat Very Early Might Prevent Celiac Disease: Study

Childhood risk for developing the allergic/autoimmune disorder known as celiac disease might be eliminated if infants were exposed to gluten as early as 4 months of age, new British research suggests.

The observation is based on work with 1,300 infants. Half were exposed to solid foods -- including wheat protein -- at an age that conflicts with current breastfeeding guidelines. Among...

Some Psoriasis Meds May Also Help Prevent Heart Disease

Biologic therapy for the skin condition psoriasis may reduce patients' risk of heart disease, new research suggests.

Chronic inflammation in people with psoriasis is associated with the development of plaque in heart arteries, which increases the risk of coronary artery disease. In biologic therapy, patients receive protein-based infusions to reduce inflammation.

"This is th...

Blood Test Might Spot Most Dangerous COVID-19 Cases

A simple blood test may predict which COVID-19 patients are likely to get worse and die, a new study suggests.

"When we first started treating COVID-19 patients, we watched them get better or get worse, but we didn't know why," said researcher Dr. Juan Reyes. He's an assistant professor of medicine at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in Washington, D.C.

Could the First Drug That Slows Arthritis Be Here?

There are currently no medications that can slow down the common form of arthritis that strikes aging knees and hips. But a new study suggests a powerful, and expensive, anti-inflammatory drug could potentially do just that.

The drug, called canakinumab (Ilaris), is used for certain rare rheumatic conditions marked by widespread inflammation. They include juvenile idiopathic arthritis...

Steroids Other Than Dexamethasone May Also Help Battle COVID-19

The steroid medication dexamethasone has been proven to help people severely ill with COVID-19. Now a new study hints that other drugs in the same class may also work -- in the right patients.

The findings are from a review of one hospital's experience, not a clinical trial. So researchers said the results should be interpreted with some caution.

But the study suggests that ...

Coronavirus May Have Come From Bats; Could They Also Hold Clues to Treatments?

Bats have been blamed as a possible source of the new coronavirus pandemic ravaging the globe. But they might also point to possible ways out of it.

Scientists say the winged mammals' immune systems may offer clues on how to fight the new coronavirus and other dangerous viruses in humans.

"Humans have two possible strategies if we want to prevent inflammation, live longer a...

Infusion of Certain Immune Cells May Help in Severe Coronavirus Cases

An infusion of cells that dampen the body's immune response might help people with severe cases of the new coronavirus recover more quickly, a new report suggests.

Two patients so sick with COVID-19 that they'd been put on a ventilator improved quickly when given an infusion of regulatory T-cells, which are cells that check the immune system and prevent it from overreacting to an infe...

Started Early, Drug Combo Eases Fatigue of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Study

Early and intensive treatment with methotrexate and prednisone can ease fatigue in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a new study.

RA causes chronically inflamed joints and that inflammation can lead to severe fatigue that isn't relieved by resting, according to the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR).

"In addition to pain, profound fatigue reduces th...

Signs of Developing Adult Diabetes Seen as Early as Age 8: Study

Kids as young as age 8 can show signs of being at increased risk for diabetes in adulthood, a British study finds.

Researchers analyzed blood samples collected from more than 4,000 participants at ages 8, 16, 18 and 25, looking for patterns specific to early stages of type 2 diabetes development.

"We knew that diabetes doesn't develop overnight. What we didn't know is how e...

In Early Trial, an Ancient Drug Shows Promise Against Severe COVID-19

There's new evidence that a 2,000-year-old medicine might offer hope against a modern scourge: COVID-19.

The medication, called colchicine, is an anti-inflammatory taken as a pill. It's long been prescribed for gout, a form of arthritis, and its history goes back centuries. The drug was first sourced from the autumn crocus flower.

Doctors also sometimes use colchicine to tre...

Cancer Drug Might Help Curb Severe COVID-19

Could a cancer drug spare hospital patients from the ravages of severe COVID-19?

Yale doctors think it can after giving the medication, known as tocilizumab, to severely ill patients back in March.

How does tocilizumab work? It has a long history of dampening the life-threatening immune system reactions cancer patients often experience while undergoing treatment. Since the s...

Are Hardened Arteries a Risk Factor for Poor Slumber?

If you can't sleep well at night, the problem may be rooted in hardened arteries, a new study suggests.

"We've discovered that fragmented sleep is associated with a unique pathway -- chronic circulating inflammation throughout the bloodstream -- which, in turn, is linked to higher amounts of plaques in coronary arteries," said researcher Matthew Walker. He's a professor of psychology...

Can Talk Therapy Heal the Body, Too?

Therapy designed to address mental health issues may also tamp down chronic inflammation, a new review suggests.

In so doing, interventions like behavioral therapy may help to rein in not only anxiety, depression and stress, but also the risk of developing heart disease or cancer, researchers say.

The finding is based on a look at 56 studies that collectively involved more ...

Black Children Hit Especially Hard by COVID-19 Inflammatory Syndrome

Black children appear to be particularly vulnerable to the rare but severe inflammatory syndrome striking kids with COVID-19, a new French study suggests.

The syndrome may be a delayed immune response to the virus that happens several weeks after infection, the researchers said.

Many patients suffer abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea, unstable blood pressure and inflammat...

Case Study Examines What's Behind Severe Kids' Illness After COVID-19

Four of the earliest U.S. cases of a rare inflammatory syndrome in kids with COVID-19 are described in a study that offers insight into the condition.

The four children -- aged 5, 10, 12 and 13 -- arrived at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City with what is known as exaggerated cytokine storm, an abnormal autoimmune response to the new coronavirus.

Nasal swab tests for the ...

COVID-19 Antibodies May Tame Inflammatory Condition in Kids: Study

Reports of children suffering from a serious coronavirus-linked inflammatory condition have scared parents everywhere, but new research suggests that treatment with COVID-19 antibodies might help in the worst cases.

The inflammatory condition, now known as Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), mimics some of the symptoms seen in toxic shock syndrome and a serious hea...

Compression Stockings May Not Be Needed After Surgeries, Study Finds

A new study offers reassurance that many surgery patients can safely be freed from one discomfort of recovery -- wearing compression stockings to prevent blood clots.

The garments, which help keep blood from pooling in the lower legs, have long been used post-surgery. One reason has been to thwart blood clots, which can form in the leg veins when a patient is laid up in recovery.

...

Italian Doctors Detail Cases of Inflammatory Condition in Kids With COVID-19

As New York City officials grapple with the sudden appearance of a rare inflammatory condition in children exposed to COVID-19, a new Italian report describes similar cases that have cropped up in that country.

The researchers say their findings provide "the first clear evidence" of a link between the new coronavirus and this inflammatory condition.

Between Feb. 18 and Apr...

Healthy Vitamin D Levels Could Be Linked to COVID-19 Survival

There's been much speculation about whether vitamin D might prevent or help survival with COVID-19, and two new studies appear to underscore the link.

In the first study -- published in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research -- British researchers found that COVID-19 infections and deaths were higher in countries where people had low vitamin D levels, such as Ita...

Condition Affecting Kids With COVID-19 Remains Very Rare, Heart Group Says

Amid recent warnings about a possible link between COVID-19 in children and an inflammatory condition called Kawasaki disease that can harm the heart and other organs, heart experts stress that such cases seem to be rare.

Most kids with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or none at all, but a small number have developed Kawasaki disease, often requiring hospitalization and occasionally, inte...

Blood Count May Offer Clues to Treatment of COVID-19: Study

The severity of COVID-19 illness may be influenced by what researchers call "cytokine storms."

In a new study, investigators assessed 522 COVID-19 patients, aged 5 days to 97 years, who were admitted to two hospitals in Wuhan, China, in December and January. The study also included a "control group" of 40 healthy people.

Compared to the control group, 76% of COVID-19 pat...

In Rare Cases, COVID-19 May Be Causing Severe Heart Condition in Kids

Children don't typically fall seriously ill from the new coronavirus, but doctors are raising the alarm that some kids with COVID-19 infections in Europe have developed Kawasaki disease, a condition that can trigger serious heart problems.

Children in the United States aren't immune to this complication, experts say.

Dr. Michael Portman is director of the Kawasaki Disease P...

Nanotechnology Might Help Fight Deadly 'Cytokine Storm' of COVID-19

For many COVID-19 patients battling for their lives in the ICU, a runaway immune system response -- known as a "cytokine storm" -- is their primary foe.

Doctors have few tools to help tame this hyperinflammatory condition, but early research is suggesting that nanotechnology might safely deliver drugs to affected tissues, quieting the storm.

It's so far only been tested in m...

Could an Ancient Drug Help Fight Severe COVID-19?

As researchers hunt for ways to treat severe COVID-19 infections, a new trial will ask whether an old arthritis drug can prevent serious complications in the first place.

The medication, called colchicine, is an oral anti-inflammatory that has long been prescribed for gout, a form of arthritis. Its history goes back thousands of years, and the drug was first sourced from the autumn cr...

Obesity Ups Odds for Severe COVID-19 in Younger Patients

It's clear that age and chronic disease make bouts of the pandemic coronavirus more severe -- and even deadly -- but obesity might also put even younger people at higher risk, a pair of new studies suggest.

The researchers suspect that inflammation throughout the body linked to obesity could be a powerful factor in the severity of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

...

Dirty Air Might Raise Your Odds for Dementia

Smog drives up dementia risk, particularly for older men and women with heart disease, according to a new Swedish study.

For more than a decade, researchers tracked exposure to air pollution and dementia cases among nearly 3,000 Stockholm residents aged 60 and up.

Lead author Dr. Giulia Grande noted that exposure to dirty air has long been linked to an increased risk for lun...

Taking Steroids for Rheumatoid Arthritis, IBD? Your Odds for Hypertension May Rise

People taking steroids to treat chronic inflammatory diseases are at high risk for developing high blood pressure, British investigators report.

Inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis are often treated with steroids for an extended period, at high doses, and as many as a third of patients in the study became hypertensive, the scientists said.

"Steroids are ver...

Vaping's Popularity Soars as New Data Points to Heart Risks

E-cigarette use is rising, putting more Americans at risk of blood vessel damage and heart disease, according to three new studies.

In the first study, researchers found that nearly 1 in 20 adults use e-cigarettes.

"Our study may have important public health implications and ramifications for educational strategies aimed at targeting various population segments to inform t...

Study Ties Brain Inflammation to Several Types of Dementia

Brain inflammation may be more of a factor in dementia than previously believed, a new British study suggests.

"We predicted the link between inflammation in the brain and the buildup of damaging proteins, but even we were surprised by how tightly these two problems mapped on to each other," said co-author Thomas Cope of the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Ca...

Olive Oil Could Help Lower Your Heart Disease Risk

If you love to drizzle a bit of olive oil on your salad, a new study suggests a side benefit to that tasty fat: a lower risk of heart disease.

The research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, found that people who had more than half a tablespoon of olive oil daily had a 21% lower risk of heart disease.

And, if you replace a teaspoon of butter, margarine or ma...

Study Probes Side Effects of Methotrexate, Used for Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Many Americans battling autoimmune illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis turn to a long-used drug, methotrexate, for relief.

But until now there's been little comprehensive research on side effects tied to the drug.

A new study funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health may fill that gap. It finds that patients who take methotrexate do have a slight-to-mo...

Will Brushing and Flossing Protect You Against Stroke?

Gum disease may be linked to higher rates of stroke caused by hardened and severely blocked arteries, preliminary research findings indicate.

Two unpublished studies suggest that treating gum disease alongside other stroke risk factors might help prevent stroke by reducing the buildup of plaque in arteries and narrowing of blood vessels in the brain. However, the studies do not prove...

Shingles Vaccine Bonus: Reduced Risk of Stroke?

Seniors who get the shingles vaccine may gain stroke protection as well, a new study suggests.

Shingles is a viral infection tied to heightened risk of stroke. But overall stroke risk dropped 20% among patients under age 80 who got the shingles vaccine. In patients 80 and older, risk was cut by about 10%, said researchers led by Quanhe Yang, a senior scientist at the U.S. Cent...

AHA News: Could Fish Oil Fight Inflammation?

Plentiful in foods like fish and flaxseed, omega-3 fatty acids have long been linked with cardiovascular health, and new research is looking at the biology behind how it might work.

A study published Thursday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation Research found fish oil supplements containing a specific formula of omega-3 fatty acids reduced inflammation by inc...

Obesity May Change the Teen Brain, MRI Study Shows

Obese teenagers can have certain brain differences from their thinner peers -- changes that might signal damage from inflammation, a new, preliminary study suggests.

Using advanced MRI techniques, researchers found that obese teenagers tended to have signs of decreased "integrity" in the brain's white matter. White matter contains the fibers that connect different areas of the brain.<...

Fat Collects in Lungs, Raising Asthma Risk

Excess weight is hard on the heart, but new research shows it may also harm your lungs.

The study found that higher amounts of fat collect in the airways of overweight and obese people, which may help explain why they're more likely to have wheezing and asthma.

In the study, the investigators analyzed lung samples donated by 52 people for research after their death. Of those...

Could Vitamin C Infusions Save Patients With Sepsis?

Massive vitamin C infusions could be a life-saver for patients with sepsis, an inflammatory condition run amok, new research suggests.

Sepsis is a leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals, claiming as many as 300,000 lives a year, according to the U.S. National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

"It's literally an explosion of the body's immune defense," said the study's...

Gum Disease Might Raise Your Blood Pressure

Here's a compelling reason to keep those dreaded appointments with your dentist: New research suggests that red, tender or bleeding gums could trigger high blood pressure.

In a review of 81 studies that included more than 250,000 people, U.K. scientists found that those who had moderate to severe gum disease (periodontitis) had a 22% increased risk for high blood pressure, and tho...

How to Fight Hidden Causes of Inflammation

Tamping down inflammation is a must for people with a chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. But you can be exposed to damaging inflammation without having a specific medical condition.

Inflammation prevents the body from adequately reacting to stressors and puts the aging process on an unwanted fast track, increasing the likelihood of problems like heart di...

First Death Tied to Lung Injury From Vaping Reported in Illinois

FRIDAY, Aug. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- An Illinois resident who was hospitalized after suffering severe respiratory illness related to vaping has died, state health officials reported Friday.

In addition, the number of reported cases of people who have used e-cigarettes or vaped and have been hospitalized with respiratory symptoms has doubled in Illinois this past week, state heal...

Cases of Lung Injury Tied to Vaping Keep Rising

THURSDAY, Aug. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Chance Ammirata was a vaper for almost two years. But three weeks ago, the 18-year-old began to have trouble breathing.

"I would say my chest felt like it was collapsing and tightening up, and I couldn't breathe," he told CBS News. After going to the emergency room, doctors told him his right lung had a hole in it and they would have...

Health Threats Don't End for Some Sepsis Survivors

Sepsis is a life-threatening infection that lands its victims in the hospital, but the dangers don't end for survivors who have high levels of inflammation long after being discharged, a new study finds.

"Sepsis is the leading cause of death among hospitalized patients. Patients discharged from the hospital aren't out of the woods yet. Approximately one out of every three sepsis survi...

Preterm Births to Hispanic Women Climbed After Trump's Election

The number of preterm births to Hispanic women in the United States inched up shortly after the 2016 election -- raising the question of whether the political climate played a role, researchers say.

The study, of births between 2009 and 2017, found an uptick in preterm deliveries among Hispanic women that occurred in the nine months after President Trump was elected.

During ...

For Kids With Rare Condition, 'Restricted' Diets Can Turn Dangerous

Two young patients -- one 3 and the other 13 -- have a rare condition that calls for a highly restricted diet. Both have so much trouble eating that they developed an eating disorder and required feeding tubes, a new report shows.

Such is the fate of some of those with eosinophilic esophagitis (EOE), a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the tube running from the mouth to the st...

Infections, Especially UTIs, May Be Triggers for Strokes

A urinary tract infection might be more than just a painful nuisance for some, with new research suggesting it could raise the risk of stroke in vulnerable people.

The study of over 190,000 stroke patients found that the risk of suffering a stroke was heightened in the weeks and months following any infection that required a trip to the hospital. But urinary tract infections (UTIs) sh...