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By Mid-Century, Heat Waves Could Cover Far Bigger Areas

THURSDAY, Oct. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Climate change could trigger much bigger heat waves by mid-century, U.S. researchers report.

Previous research has predicted that the number and intensity of heat waves will increase, but this study is the first to examine changes in their potential physical size.

"As the physical size of these affected regions increases, more peop...

Seaside Living Soothes the Mind of Rich and Poor Alike

THURSDAY, Oct. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Could living near the coast be an inexpensive balm for mental troubles?

"Our research suggests, for the first time, that people in poorer households living close to the coast experience fewer symptoms of mental health disorders," said researcher Dr. Jo Garrett, from the University of Exeter, in England.

"When it comes to mental heal...

Did Brexit Vote Drive Man to Psychotic Episode?

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Brexit has thrown the United Kingdom into political and economic uncertainty, but it might have actually triggered a psychotic break in one man, a new report suggests.

The 2016 Brexit referendum started the process of the U.K. leaving the European Union.

Three weeks after the referendum, a middle-aged man was taken by paramedics to...

Does Parents' Smoking Raise Future Heart Risks for Kids?

MONDAY, Sept. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When parents smoke, their kids may face a higher risk of a common heart rhythm problem decades later, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that adults who grew up with smokers were more likely to develop atrial fibrillation, versus those with nonsmoking parents.

Atrial fibrillation (or "a-fib") is a heart arrhythmia in which the ...

Even Dolphins Are Threatened by Antibiotic-Resistant 'Superbugs'

MONDAY, Sept. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists have found one more way Flipper is a lot like people: The sharp rise in antibiotic resistance affecting humans is also happening to dolphins.

The discovery stems from a 13-year study of bottlenose dolphins in Florida's Indian River Lagoon.

"We've been able to provide a large database of information in order to continue l...

Stricter Arsenic Standard Made Public Drinking Water Safer: Study

FRIDAY, Sept. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Stricter U.S. government standards for drinking water have reduced arsenic violations by public water systems, proving such safety regulations work, researchers say.

Public water systems provide more than 80% of the nation's drinking water.

The new standard was introduced in 2001. Since then, the percentage of public water syste...

Is Your State One of the 'Most Obese' in America?

THURSDAY, Sept. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The number of U.S. states with adult obesity rates above 35% reached an all-time high of nine in 2018, a new report says.

In 2018, the nine states with adult obesity rates above 35% were: Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and West Virginia.

That's two more than the year befor...

'First Responders' on 9/11 Face Lingering Heart Woes, Study Finds

FRIDAY, Sept. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The firefighters who flooded into Ground Zero on 9/11 put their lives on the line to help others. Now, a new study shows they are still paying the price for their selflessness.

Those who were first on the scene or worked for months among the ruins of the World Trade Center disaster in 2001 have an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and he...

For Muslim Pilgrimage, Climate Change Poses Health Risks

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Climate change-caused increases in heat and humidity could put Muslims making the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia in "extreme danger," a new study warns.

This pilgrimage, known as the Hajj, involves several days of activities, including 20 to 30 hours outdoors.

The timing of the Hajj varies. This year, it was Aug. 9 to 14, an...

Lots of Teens Are Breathing in Others' Vaping Fumes

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The danger to teenagers' lungs from e-cigarettes isn't only occurring in those who vape: A new report finds many young bystanders are breathing in "secondhand" fumes.

The researchers analyzed data from the U.S. National Youth Tobacco Survey, and found that about one-third of middle and high school students were exposed to vaping aerosols in...

Caw-lesterol? Fatty City Food Hits Crows' Arteries

MONDAY, Aug. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Your lunch leftovers are doing no favors for urban birds' hearts, new research shows.

Fatty food scraps may be boosting the cholesterol levels of crows in U.S. cities, but whether it's a threat to their health isn't clear.

A team from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., analyzed blood cholesterol levels of 140 crow nestlings in urban ...

Climate Change Hiking Danger of Flesh-Eating Bacteria Infections

FRIDAY, Aug. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It's a horrible fate: You take a cool dip in the ocean and become infected with flesh-eating bacteria.

Climate change is making this terrifying scenario more common in the northern part of the United States, one infectious disease expert says.

These infections are caused by Vibrio vulnificus bacteria. There are about 80,000 s...

Wintertime Smog Tied to Rise in Heart Procedures

FRIDAY, Aug. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Breathing in smoggy air, especially in the colder months, may be especially taxing for the heart, new research out of Europe suggests.

Polish researchers found that high levels of air pollution were tied to spikes in procedures to open blocked heart arteries. This was especially apparent in winter, when pollution levels were highest, a new stu...

Smoggy Air Might Contribute to Macular Degeneration

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Tailpipe pollution might pose a real health threat to aging eyes, according to a new study out of Taiwan.

Researchers there found that exposure to high levels of two car exhaust pollutants nearly doubled the odds of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

It's one of the most common causes of vision loss in older people.

Texas Cities Are Ripe for Measles Outbreaks, Study Finds

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Texas cities are in danger of major measles outbreaks because an alarming number of school kids are unvaccinated, researchers warn.

Vaccination rates in the state have declined since 2003 and a computer simulation by University of Pittsburgh researchers found that an additional 5% decrease could increase the size of a measles outbreak b...

Could Dirty Air Spur a Rise in Serious Mental Illness?

TUESDAY, Aug. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As air quality declines, the prevalence of mental health conditions may rise, a large, new study suggests.

Looking at data on millions of people in the United States and Denmark, researchers found correlations between air pollution exposure and rates of certain psychiatric disorders. In both countries, poorer air quality was linked to a sligh...

City Parks Are a Mood Booster

TUESDAY, Aug. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Living in the city can be hard on the senses and the spirit, but spending some time in a tree-lined park could counteract that stress, new research suggests.

"Over a three-month period, we collected tweets from 4,688 Twitter users before, during and after they posted from the park," explained study author Aaron Schwartz. He's a Ph.D. candidat...

Fast-Food Joints in the Neighborhood? Heart Attack Rates Likely to Go Up

THURSDAY, Aug. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you live in a neighborhood where fast-food restaurants abound, you might be more likely to have a heart attack, new research suggests.

It turns out that heart attack rates are higher in neighborhoods with more fast-food joints, the Australian study found.

For every additional fast-food outlet in a neighborhood, there were four a...

Americans' Trust in Scientists Follows a Sharp Political Divide

FRIDAY, Aug. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Americans' confidence in scientists is on the rise, but deep political divisions persist, a new nationwide poll reveals.

The Pew Research Center poll of more than 4,400 adults found that 86% have at least "a fair amount" of confidence in scientists to act in the public interest. That includes 35% who said they have "a great deal" of co...

Heat Waves Brought by Climate Change Could Prove Deadly for Kidney Patients

FRIDAY, Aug. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- New research uncovers yet another population that will be vulnerable to the heat waves that climate change is delivering with increasing frequency: people with kidney disease.

Extremely hot days can increase advanced kidney disease patients' risk of hospitalization and death, and climate change means they'll face more such days, the study aut...

Giving Up Meat Could Help Your Health -- And the Planet's

THURSDAY, Aug. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If Americans traded in their hamburgers for tofu, buckwheat and asparagus, it could make a big difference in the health of the planet -- without shortchanging anyone on nutrients.

That's the conclusion of a new study in which researchers estimated the benefits -- to humans and the environment -- of diets centered on "nutritionally sound" meat...

Climate Change Could Raise Mercury Levels in Some Fish

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new study adds to the list of potential health threats from global warming: Higher mercury levels in certain fish.

While eating fish is considered part of a healthy diet, it's also a source of mercury -- which, in high enough amounts, is toxic to the nervous system and kidneys.

Small fish generally have only small amounts of merc...

In Heat Waves, Fans May Do More Harm Than Good

TUESDAY, Aug. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Thinking of picking up an electric fan to help keep you cool and protect your health during the next heat wave?

You might want to think again.

Electric fans might make you feel cooler, but they can actually increase your risk of becoming heat sick and even dying from a heat stroke, the evidence shows.

Electric fans could co...

Scorching Pavement Sends Some to the ER With Burns

FRIDAY, Aug. 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Make sure rubber, not your skin, meets the road: When skin touches sunbaked pavement, serious burns can quickly set in.

In sizzling regions like the Southwestern United States, all it takes for a severe burn is 2 seconds of unprotected skin-on-asphalt contact, experts say.

"Our research shows that in our city, the risk starts when the...

Trees an Oasis of Mental Well-Being

TUESDAY, July 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- City dwellers who live on tree-lined streets might be happier and healthier for it, a large new study suggests.

The study, of nearly 47,000 urban residents, found that those who lived in areas shaded by tree canopy reported less psychological distress and better general health over six years.

Green grass, on the other hand, didn't c...

Warm Bath Can Send You Off to a Sound Slumber, Study Finds

THURSDAY, July 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Here's a win-win for all those bath lovers who struggle with poor sleep: New research suggests a soak in the tub before bedtime may shorten the time it takes to fall asleep.

A well-timed warm bath, or even a warm shower, also appears to prolong how long someone stays asleep, investigators found. And indications are that overall sleep quality...

Dirty Air Kills 30,000 Americans Each Year

THURSDAY, July 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Despite improved air quality since the 1990s, pollution still causes lung disease, heart attacks and strokes that kill more than 30,000 Americans each year, a new study estimates.

Researchers looked at concentrations of fine pollution particles known as PM2.5 across the country from 1999 to 2015. These tiny particles -- 30 times smaller than...

Astronauts: Exercise More in Space, Faint Less on Earth

FRIDAY, July 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As Americans mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and man's first steps on the surface of the moon, a new study offers a solution for a vexing problem that many astronauts experience on their return to Earth.

All the time that astronauts spend floating weightless can trigger fainting and dizziness when they once again feel Earth'...

As Heat Bakes the Nation, Expert Offers Tips to Stay Safe

THURSDAY, July 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The heat is on.

Across two-thirds of the United States, over 115 million Americans live where some level of heat alert is already in effect, and 290 million will see temperatures soar past 90 degrees at some point in the next week, USA Today reported Wednesday.

As a dome of high pressure settles over much of the eastern and ...

Hurricanes Can Hurt Survival Odds Among Those With Cancer

TUESDAY, July 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When a hurricane strikes, as tropical storm Barry did this weekend in Louisiana, most people worry about the immediate health dangers such a storm poses.

But new research suggests that the interruptions in radiation therapy caused by power outages may also lower the chances of long-term survival among lung cancer patients.

"While w...

Is an Elusive U.S. Total Ban on Asbestos Finally in Sight?

THURSDAY, July 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new U.S. government rule on asbestos is at best a toothless measure against the cancer-causing material, critics charge.

The rule, laid out by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), went into effect in June. The agency says it was designed to strengthen decades-old public health protections.

But two former government off...

Household Chemicals Might Be Sparking Rise in Thyroid Disease Among Cats

WEDNESDAY, July 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Could the newer flame retardants now being used in many household products be making cats sick?

A new study says it's possible.

Rates of hyperthyroidism, the most common endocrine-related disease of older cats, have soared since the first case was diagnosed in 1979, researchers report.

Cats with the disease experience we...

Reacting Against a 'Too Clean' World, Some Parents Go Too Far the Other Way

WEDNESDAY, July 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Somewhere between the Mom who obsessively wipes down every knob and toy her child might touch, and the Dad who thinks rolling in the dirt is "good" for kids, there's a healthy medium, British experts say.

"We have to find a way to protect against infectious diseases and harmful microbes, whilst at the same time sustaining exposure to the ess...

Air Pollution Bad News for Your Blood Pressure

THURSDAY, June 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In yet another finding that shows air pollution is bad for more than just your lungs, a new study suggests long-term exposure could raise your risk of high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome includes a number of health conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

In this study, res...

Another Climate Change Threat: More 'Flesh-Eating' Bacteria?

TUESDAY, June 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A flesh-eating bacteria has migrated into the Delaware Bay between Delaware and New Jersey, drawn north by the warmer waters of climate change, doctors say.

Five cases of infection with Vibrio vulnificus occurred in 2017 and 2018 along the Delaware Bay, compared to one infection with the devastating bacteria in the eight years prior, r...

50 Years After Ban, Canadian Lakes Still Have High Levels of DDT

THURSDAY, June 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Although DDT was banned in the 1970s, the toxic pesticide still lurks in the sediment of lakes in New Brunswick, Canada, researchers report.

To control insects, airplanes sprayed nearly 6,300 tons of DDT onto New Brunswick forests between 1952 and 1968.

Sprayed DDT can enter lakes and rivers, and find its way into the food chain, r...

2 Hours/Week in Nature: Your Prescription for Better Health?

THURSDAY, June 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Spending just a couple of hours a week enjoying nature may do your body and mind some good, a new study suggests.

The study, of nearly 20,000 adults in England, found that people who spent at least two hours outdoors in the past week gave higher ratings to their physical health and mental well-being.

There could, of course, be many...

Bats Are Biggest Rabies Danger, CDC Says

WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The first thing folks think about with rabies is four-legged critters -- dogs, raccoons, skunks or foxes.

But the most dangerous rabies threat you'll face right now is dangling overhead somewhere, waiting to flutter down and get entwined in your hair.

Bats are responsible for 7 out of 10 rabies deaths in the United States, according t...

Your Drinking Water May Harbor Cancer-Causing Nitrate: Study

WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Millions of tons of nitrate from industrial farming find their way into America's drinking water each year, causing thousands of cases of cancer and other health problems, an environmental advocacy group says.

In a new report, researchers from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) quantify the risk. They say nitrate is responsible for near...

Your Guide to a Healthier Home for Better Asthma Control

TUESDAY, June 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you or a family member has asthma, your doctor has most likely mapped out the steps you need to take to treat an asthma flare.

Creating a healthier home by minimizing your triggers can be as effective as medication for reducing symptoms and flares, according to a study from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Triggers include in...

One Simple Food Substitution Might Help Save the Planet

MONDAY, June 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- One simple change in your diet -- replacing beef with poultry -- could go a long way toward curbing climate change, research shows.

Beef is the largest dietary contributor to greenhouse gases for average people, and replacing it can halve a diner's food-based carbon footprint and improve health, according to findings presented Monday at the Amer...

Antibiotics Pollute Rivers Worldwide: Study

THURSDAY, June 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of antibiotics in some of the world's rivers are hundreds of times higher than what's considered safe, British researchers report.

For the new study, investigators checked rivers in 72 countries on six continents for 14 widely used antibiotics and found them at 65% of monitored sites.

"The results are quite eye-opening an...

Keeping the Lid on Global Warming Could Save American Lives

WEDNESDAY, June 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new analysis suggests the Trump administration should have considered how unchecked climate change might harm U.S. citizens before it pulled out of a pact aimed at slowing down the pace of global warming.

In the study, researchers calculated that tens of thousands of lives in major U.S. cities would be saved annually if rising temperatures...

'Controlled Burns' Better for Kids' Health Than Wildfires: Study

THURSDAY, May 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Recent forest fires in the western United States have put a spotlight on a fire-management approach called controlled burning. Health researchers are weighing in, too, saying controlled burns pose less of an air pollution risk to children than wildfires.

Controlled, or prescribed, burns are done to reduce levels of material that can feed wild...

Roundup Linked to Human Liver Damage: Study

FRIDAY, May 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The popular weed killer Roundup might be linked to liver disease, a new study suggests.

A group of patients suffering from liver disease had elevated urine levels of glyphosate, the primary weed-killing ingredient in Roundup, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

"We found those patients who had m...

Fewer Deaths Tied to Dirty Air, But Threats Persist: Report

WEDNESDAY, May 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Significant but uneven improvements in air quality have greatly reduced U.S. deaths related to air pollution over the past decade, a new study shows.

But researchers are concerned that climate change and regulatory rollbacks under the Trump administration will wipe out those advances and put thousands more lives at risk from bad air every ye...

COPD May Strike Women Harder Than Men

WEDNESDAY, May 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Women with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) appear to have a harder time than men with the progressive lung disorder, a new study suggests.

Smoking is its leading cause, and while women report smoking less than men, those with COPD have more trouble breathing, more frequent flare-ups and a poorer quality of life, researchers foun...

Cleaner Air Linked to Lower Asthma Rates in Kids

TUESDAY, May 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Air pollution levels have been declining for years, and researchers can now show that cleaner air is linked to fewer kids developing asthma.

The new study looked at nine California communities. The researchers found that reductions in certain pollutants were tied to about a 20% reduction in the odds of children developing asthma, a chroni...

Lyme Disease Now a Threat in City Parks

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As deer populations have exploded across America, moving from forests to suburbs to urban parks, they have brought the threat of Lyme disease to millions of city dwellers, a new study finds.

In fact, the deer tick that spreads Lyme disease is as prevalent in many New York City parks as it is in areas known to be endemic for the bacterial dis...

More Back-to-Back Heat Waves Will Come With Climate Change

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Here's another health danger climate change will deliver in the coming years: New research warns that back-to-back heat waves that go on for days will become more common as the planet warms.

The elderly and the poor will be the least prepared to weather this threat, the investigators noted. But hospital ERs and emergency service providers wi...

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