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Vegetarian Diet Could Help Fight Off Disease: Study

There's more evidence that a switch away from meat in your diet could cut levels of unhealthy "biomarkers" that encourage disease, researchers say.

A new study reported Saturday at the virtual European Congress on Obesity (ECO) found that people on vegetarian diets have lower blood levels of disease-linked biomarkers, such as "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and other factors.

Biomarkers ca...

Your Blood Type Might Raise Odds for Certain Health Conditions

Certain blood types may increase a person's risk of different health problems, a new study suggests.

The research confirms some previous findings and reveals new links between blood types and diseases, according to the authors of the study published April 27 in the journal eLife.

"There is still very little information available about whether people with RhD-positive or RhD...

Sleepwalking Tied to Higher Odds for Parkinson's in Men

TUESDAY, April 20, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Men with certain sleep problems, like sleep walking, may be at a higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a new study suggests.

Among nearly 26,000 men, researchers found those who sleepwalked or had rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) had a four times or higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease compare...

Are You Eating Foods That Harm Your 'Microbiome'?

MONDAY, April 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- People who eat plenty of vegetables, fish and fiber may have more inflammation-fighting bacteria in their guts, but fast-food lovers may be feeding inflammatory microbes.

That's the conclusion of a new study that looked at people's diet habits and the makeup of their gut "microbiome."

The term refers to the vast collectio...

Drug Shows Promise Against Rare Condition That Stunts Kids' Growth

A new medication may offer hope to children with achondroplasia, a rare bone growth disorder that causes very short stature coupled with disproportionate limb and trunk size.

The experimental drug is called vosoritide. By tamping down overactive growth plate signaling that impedes bone growth, the drug seeks to offer affected children the possibility of greater height and improved proport...

Ultra-Processed Foods Are Ultra-Bad for Your Heart

More than half of the food Americans eat is "ultra-processed" -- and it's making them sick.

Higher consumption of these highly processed foods is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death, according to a new study, and yet they account for 58% of calories in a U.S. diet. Each additional serving increased the risk.

You might not even realize that a food yo...

People With Intellectual Disabilities at High Risk for Fatal COVID-19

Having an intellectual disability is second only to being elderly as a risk factor for dying from COVID-19, a new study suggests.

"The chances of dying from COVID-19 are higher for those with intellectual disability than they are for people with congestive heart failure, kidney disease or lung disease," said study author Dr. Jonathan Gleason, chief quality officer at Jefferson Health, in ...

Could Diphtheria Become Resistant to Vaccines?

Diphtheria could once again become a major global health problem due to vaccine and antibiotic resistance, researchers warn.

Diphtheria is a highly contagious -- and potentially deadly -- infection that can affect the nose and throat, as well as the skin.

It is caused primarily by strains of bacteria called Corynebacterium diphtheriae, which make a toxin, or poison, that ca...

Global Warming Could Make Survival in Tropics Impossible: Study

Limiting global warming to targets proposed in the Paris Agreement could keep tropical regions from reaching temperatures that are beyond human tolerability, a new study projects.

Researchers estimate that if countries are able to cap warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the tropics will be spared temperatures that surpass the "survival limit." But life in the worl...

'Night Owls' Perform Worse at Work, Study Finds

"Early to bed, early to rise" may be good advice for your career. New research finds that, compared to night owls, folks with earlier bedtimes perform better at work and are less plagued by disabilities that lead to early retirement.

Overall, "night owls" were twice as likely as "early birds" to underperform at work, the new study found. Folks who stayed up late also ran a heightened risk...

Mental Illness in Childhood Could Mean Worse Physical Health Decades Later

As if suffering from a mental illness as a child isn't tough enough, new research suggests it could predict higher odds for physical ills in later life.

There was one silver lining to the findings, however.

Knowing that childhood mental illness is a factor, "you can identify the people at risk for physical illnesses much earlier in life," explained study lead researcher Jasmin Wertz...

Research Reveals Why COVID Pneumonia Is More Deadly

Unlike regular pneumonia, COVID-19 pneumonia spreads like many "wildfires" throughout the lungs, researchers say.

This may explain why COVID-19 pneumonia lasts longer and causes more harm than typical pneumonia, according to the researchers at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.

The research team said that their aim is to make COVID-19 more like a bad cold.

For the study, the te...

Can 2 Nutrients Lower Your Risk for Parkinson's?

People who consume high levels of dietary vitamin C and E may lower their risk for Parkinson's disease by almost a third, a new study suggests.

Foods high in vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Foods high in vitamin E include spinach, collard greens, pumpkin and nuts such as almonds and peanuts.

How might the two nutrients ward off Parkinson's? A...

Don't Believe Vaccine Myths

There's a lot of misinformation about vaccines as the United States begins its massive COVID-19 vaccination program, so an expert wants to dispel the many myths about vaccines in general.

Vaccines are among the most heavily studied of all drugs, and the evidence shows they are safe and extremely effective, according to Dr. Patrick Gavigan, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Penn ...

Depression in Youth Ups Odds for Adult Illnesses: Study

Having depression during childhood or in the teen years appears to increase the odds of illness and early death later on, researchers say.

The new long-term study included nearly 1.5 million Swedes. Of those, more than 37,000 were diagnosed with depression at least once between the ages of 5 and 19 years.

The study participants were followed for 12 years. Those with an early history...

Gene Therapy Shows No Long-Term Harm in Animals: Study

Results from a long-term study of a gene therapy technique to prevent inherited mitochondrial disease show promise, researchers say.

Studies of the technique at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland show no adverse health effects in rhesus macaque monkeys and their offspring. The researchers said the technique could break the cycle of disease passed from mother to baby through mu...

COVID Can Make Your Ears Ring

Tinnitus, a common hearing problem, may be worsened by COVID-19 or possibly even triggered by the new coronavirus, new research indicates.

Moreover, people with tinnitus are further struggling because of lifestyle changes forced by the pandemic, the study found.

Tinnitus includes the perception of noise, like ringing, in the ears and head. It's associated with reduced emotional well...

Hard-to-Detect Form of Epilepsy Can Lead to Car Crashes

The most common form of epilepsy is a risk factor for car crashes, yet it can have such subtle symptoms that it often goes undiagnosed for an extended period of time, even years.

Researchers said the failure to recognize symptoms of subtle seizures is the main reason for a delay in the diagnosis of focal epilepsy.

The condition, which affects only one part of the brain, is o...

Could Coffee Reduce Parkinson's Risk?

Caffeine may reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease in people who have a gene mutation associated with the movement disorder, researchers report.

"These results are promising and encourage future research exploring caffeine and caffeine-related therapies to lessen the chance that people with this gene develop Parkinson's," said study author Dr. Grace Crotty, of Massachusetts General H...

Fending Off Asthma Attacks During a Pandemic

Falling leaves, pumpkins and apples are signs of fall. And so is asthma.

Asthma attacks tend to increase in early autumn. During the coronavirus pandemic, it's especially important for people with the disease to know how to prevent flare-ups, a lung expert says.

"There are two different types of asthma flare-ups," said Dr. Pushan Jani, an assistant professor of pulmonary and...

Pregnancy May Delay MS

Pregnancy can delay the onset of multiple sclerosis (MS) by more than three years, researchers report.

The international study found those who'd been pregnant had their first MS symptoms an average of 3.3 years later than those who'd never been pregnant. Having carried a baby to term delayed MS onset by an average of 3.4 years, the researchers determined.

More than 2.5 milli...

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...

Early Trial Offers New Hope for People With Hemophilia

Researchers may have found a way for people with severe hemophilia to take their standard treatment less often, if the results of an early trial pan out.

In what experts called a feat of bioengineering, scientists were able to create a "fusion protein" that may extend the interval between treatments for hemophilia -- from about every couple of days to once a week.

The early ...

Narcolepsy Drug Doesn't Raise Odds for Birth Defects: Study

The narcolepsy medicine modafinil doesn't appear to increase the risk of birth defects, according to a new study that contradicts earlier research.

"This study is based on twice as many pregnancies as earlier studies, and we find no increase in the risk of malformation in infants exposed to modafinil during pregnancy," lead author Carolyn Cesta, of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, ...

COVID-19 Ills No Greater for Those With Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis

People with lupus aren't at increased risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 due to steroidal medications they take to reduce immune system activity, a new study finds.

And a related study found that people with inflammatory forms of arthritis -- such as rheumatoid arthritis -- aren't more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people without arthritis.

Both studies wer...

Experimental Drug Shows Promise Against ALS

An experimental treatment may help slow the progression of the deadly brain disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a new study finds.

Researchers called the results a promising step in the fight against a devastating and invariably fatal disease. And two advocacy groups are calling for swift action to make the drug available to patients.

ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig...

Rare Tumor Slows, But Won't Stop Young Drama Teacher

Christina Kosyla, a drama and yoga teacher in her late 20s, was about to take the trip of a lifetime when she felt a strange twinge in her shoulder. A co-worker also pointed out some slight swelling in Kosyla's shoulder.

Kosyla and her best friend were planning to hike the Camino De Santiago -- a 500-mile pilgrimage from France to Spain that required exceptional physical fitness and ...

Hopeful News on Parkinson's: More Than 100 Trials Underway

While there are treatments to alleviate symptoms of Parkinson's disease, there is no known cure or preventive drug. But a recent review offers some encouraging findings.

The review found more than 100 clinical trials are underway around the world that are testing various preventive therapies and treatments for the neurodegenerative disorder.

The large number of trials, and ...

Skin Cream May Offer New Treatment Option for Psoriasis

A cream medication that eases skin inflammation might offer a safer treatment option for people with psoriasis, a new clinical trial suggests.

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects more than 8 million Americans, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. The disease arises from an abnormal immune response that triggers rapid turnover of skin cells, causing them to pi...

Changes in IVF May Have Spurred Drop in Cerebral Palsy, Study Says

Rates of cerebral palsy among babies in Nordic countries born through in vitro fertilization (IVF) have fallen by more than half over the past two decades, due to fewer twin births from IVF, according to a new study.

A study in Denmark 15 years ago found a significantly increased risk of cerebral palsy in infants born through IVF. The absolute risk was small, but cerebral palsy was th...

MS Patients Turn to Marijuana, Other Alternative Treatments

Despite the existence of conventional medications to manage multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms, a majority of patients also rely on alternative therapies, including vitamins, exercise and marijuana, a new survey suggests.

For the study, researchers at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland asked MS patients if they used "complementary and alternative therapies" -- medicines a...

Suicide Rate 170 Times Higher for People With Schizophrenia

People with schizophrenia have a suicide rate 170 times higher than the general population, Canadian researchers report.

The researchers looked at 20 years of population data, including information on 75,000 patients with schizophrenia. Each was followed for about 10 years, on average.

Risk of suicide was heightened the first five years after the mental illness was diagnos...

Despite Medical Advances, People With HIV Still Live Shorter, Sicker Lives

HIV may not be the death sentence it was 20 or 30 years ago, but people who are HIV-positive still face much shorter lives than other adults -- even if they're treated with medications that make the virus undetectable.

A new study reports that people who were HIV-positive at age 21 had an average life expectancy of 56 years -- nine years fewer than their virus-free peers.

Th...

Icky Prescription: Could Hookworms Help Ease MS?

In a new trial there are hints, but no proof, that a wriggling intestinal parasite might help fight multiple sclerosis.

The lowly hookworm has for years been proposed as a potential treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune disorders.

But the first clinical trial testing the potential benefits of the parasite against MS has produced decidedly mixed results, ...

Women Still Left Out of Much Medical Research

Your sex matters when it comes to your health, yet women may still be an afterthought in research studies.

Despite policies and grant requirements to include females in research studies, many researchers still don't analyze their data by sex, a new study found. If researchers don't look at their results by sex, it's impossible to know if diseases, drugs or vaccines might impact each ...

Trump-Touted Hydroxychloroquine in Short Supply for Lupus Patients

A drug championed by President Donald Trump as a coronavirus panacea appears to be in short supply for people who really need it: lupus patients.

More than one-third of U.S. lupus patients who take hydroxychloroquine have struggled to fill prescriptions for the drug during the COVID-19 crisis, a new survey finds.

One patient finally filled her prescription after three weeks ...

Physical Jobs Tied to More Sick Leave, Earlier Retirement

People with physically demanding jobs take more sick leave. They also have higher unemployment rates and shorter work lives, a new Danish study finds.

"This study showed that high physical work demands are a marked risk factor for a shortened expected working life and increased years of sickness absence and unemployment," study co-author Lars Andersen and colleagues wrote. Andersen is...

Your Sleep Habits May Worsen Your Asthma

Getting too little or too much sleep may worsen asthma in adults, a new study finds.

Researchers asked nearly 1,400 adults, 20 and older, with self-reported asthma about their sleep habits.

About one-quarter said they slept five hours or less a night (short sleepers), 66% slept six to eight hours a night (normal sleepers), and 8% slept nine or more hours a night (l...

Multiple Sclerosis Ups Odds for Heart Trouble, Stroke

Multiple sclerosis can cause weakness, pain, fatigue and vision problems. The disease also appears to increase the odds of heart disease and stroke, new research suggests.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system disorder that can affect movement. The British study found that people with MS were nearly one-third more likely to have "macrovascular disease." Those are condit...

COVID and Hypochondria: Online Therapy May Help Ease Fears

This is not a good time to have hypochondria. For folks who routinely obsess about their health, the coronavirus crisis could greatly magnify their distress. But there's some good news for them in this era of sheltering-in-place.

While in-person talk therapy is the gold standard for helping hypochondria patients overcome a crippling fear of health threats, a new study suggests online ...

Parkinson's Patient Improving After First-Ever Stem Cell Therapy

In a first, scientists have treated a Parkinson's disease patient with his own skin cells -- repurposing them to become key brain cells that the disease kills off.

Two years after receiving the experimental treatment, the patient has had no adverse effects, his doctors report. His symptoms, meanwhile, have either stabilized or gotten somewhat better.

"The improvement has be...

Can Fruits, Tea Help Fend Off Alzheimer's Disease?

If you're worried about developing Alzheimer's disease, new research suggests that eating more fruits or drinking more tea or red wine might help protect your brain.

People who had the lowest amounts of fruits -- like apples and berries -- and red wine and tea in their diets were two to four times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease or another related dementia, the study found...

Gentle Yoga May Deliver Migraine Relief

People suffering from regular migraines despite medication might consider investing in a yoga mat.

That's according to a new trial that tested the effects of a gentle yoga practice -- with slow-paced physical postures, breathing exercises and relaxation. Researchers found that people who added the practice to their usual migraine medication suffered about half as many headache attacks...

Why Are Blacks, Other Minorities Hardest Hit By COVID-19?

The new coronavirus is disproportionately striking minority populations -- particularly urban blacks and Navajo Indians living on their reservation. Experts say social and economic factors that predate the COVID-19 crisis may help explain why.

"We found that there were large disparities in the proportion of people at risk of COVID-19 from minority and low-income populations," said stu...

Study Confirms Safety, Effectiveness of Children's Vaccines

Vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chickenpox) are highly effective and do not cause autism, say researchers who reviewed 138 studies that included 23 million children.

"In terms of safety, we know from previous studies all around the world that the risks posed by these diseases far outweigh those of the vaccines administered to prevent them," said lead author Dr. Car...

Coronavirus Fears Have People With Asthma, Emphysema Avoiding the ER

Doctors are increasingly worried that people are mistaking stay-at-home orders to mean they should avoid emergency medical care -- including for serious lung diseases.

People with chronic lung conditions, such as emphysema and moderate to severe asthma, are among those at higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19. And medical experts have been urging them to be vigilant abou...

Are Immune-Compromised Kids at Greater Risk From COVID-19?

One of the few bright spots in the COVID-19 pandemic has been the perception that children are mostly spared from its worst effects. But what about kids already at risk of contracting serious infections due to a compromised immune system? Do they have the same protection?

"One group we always worry about when it comes to viral illnesses is immunocompromised children," said Dr. Reggie...

Therapy by Phone Helps Parkinson's Patients Manage Depression

A type of talk therapy by phone may help treat depression in people with Parkinson's disease, researchers say.

Depression is common in Parkinson's disease patients. It's associated with faster physical and mental decline, but is often overlooked and undertreated.

While cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown promise in easing depression in people with Parkinson's, many ...

Belly Fat Can Lead to a Sudden Attack of Pancreatitis: Study

Obesity is not only tied to chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, researchers now say it's also linked to a painful condition known as acute pancreatitis.

"We were able to demonstrate that fat within the belly is rapidly degraded during acute [sudden-onset] pancreatitis, but not during diverticulitis [another condition that causes abdominal pain]," said researcher Vijay Singh. He's a...

Could Green Tea Extract Help Fight Pulmonary Fibrosis?

A green tea extract has shown early hints of promise against a serious, progressive form of lung disease, researchers say.

The disease is called pulmonary fibrosis, where scar tissue builds up in the lungs over time, limiting the amount of oxygen the body receives. Eventually, life-threatening lung failure can develop.

There are many types of pulmonary fibrosis, but the most...