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As Climate Change Lengthens Allergy Season, Pollen Travels Farther

If you suffer the itchy, sneezy, wheezy consequences of seasonal allergies, you're probably painfully aware that pollen season is starting earlier and lasting longer than ever.

It's an upshot of climate change, and new research from Germany offers an explanation for this extended sneezin' season: Pollen is on the move, with early blooming spores now wafting across traditional locales and ...

Misjudging Thin Ice Can Be Fatal, Check First

Before you venture onto frozen ponds, lakes and rivers, it's critical to make sure they're safe, an expert cautions.

"A minimum of four inches of clear, newly formed ice is needed to support one person on foot," according to Curt Sinclair, a natural resources specialist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

"New ice is usually stronger than old ice, and clear ice is usu...

Are Your Allergies Worse? Blame Climate Change

In a grim development for allergy sufferers in North America, a new investigation warns that pollen seasons are getting longer and worse.

Over the last three decades, the annual pollen season has expanded by nearly three weeks, accompanied by a 21% jump in pollen concentrations.

A big underlying cause: climate change.

"It is clear that global warming is the major culprit ...

Climate Change May Have Helped Emergence of New Coronavirus

It's a link few might have considered, but a new study indicates that climate change may have prompted the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rising temperatures caused by greenhouse emissions have boosted the growth of bat-friendly forest habitat in China's southern province of Yunnan and neighboring areas, making the region a hotspot for bat-borne coronaviruses, the researchers explained. Genetic data ...

Child Car Seat Safety Tip: Skip Puffy Winter Coats

Puffy coats have their place, but it's not inside a car seat.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers a variety of tips for keeping your little ones safe and warm while traveling by car.

The first is to avoid dressing children in puffy coats or snowsuits before buckling them in, because car seat straps won't tighten enough. That creates a danger that the fluffy padding will ...

Climate Change Is Spurring Malnutrition in Kids Worldwide

Rising temperatures caused by climate change are contributing to low diet quality and malnutrition among young children in many parts of the world, researchers say.

Warmer temperatures now equal or exceed the impact of traditional causes of child malnutrition and low quality diets, such as poverty, poor sanitation and low levels of education, according to investigators from the University...

Lockdowns' Benefits for Air Quality Weren't as Big as Thought: Study

Two types of air pollution declined in cities around the world during initial COVID-19 lockdowns, but one type increased, a new study finds.

Researchers assessed changes in levels of nitrogen dioxide, ozone and fine particulate (PM2.5) air pollution during lockdowns in 11 cities: Beijing and Wuhan in China; Milan; Rome; Madrid; London; Paris; Berlin; New York; Los Angeles; and Delhi, Indi...

Could High Pollen Levels Trigger Pelvic Pain?

Most folks are familiar with the havoc that high pollen levels can wreak on their lungs, but new research suggests they can also exacerbate a painful pelvic condition in some people.

"Our study provides evidence to suggest increased pollen counts may trigger symptom flares in people living with UCPPS [urologic chronic pelvic pain syndrome]," said researcher Siobhan Sutcliffe, of Washingto...

Cold Weather Exercise Could Burn More Fat

If you want to burn fat this winter, take your exercise outdoors, researchers say.

A Canadian study suggests that vigorous exercise in cold weather may burn more fat than working out indoors.

Regular physical activity speeds metabolism and helps regulate fat in the blood ("lipids"), and high-intensity training is better for burning fat than moderate-intensity exercise, the rese...

Global Warming May Be Triggering Toxic Algae Blooms Along U.S. West Coast

New toxic algal blooms have appeared on the U.S. west coast due to an ocean heat wave, a new study finds.

The researchers said that climate change is increasing the frequency of highly toxic algal blooms in this area.

These algae produce a neurotoxin called domoic acid that causes severe and potentially lethal digestive and neurological symptoms, and is a threat to marine wildlife a...

How to Stay Safe From Falls, Freezing This Winter

Outdoor activities can help you keep fit this winter while staying safe from COVID-19, but you need to take precautions to reduce your risk of injury, an expert says.

Skiing and snowboarding are good examples. Falls are common in these sports, but proper technique and safety gear can reduce the risk of injury.

Each year, nearly 120,000 ski- and snowboard-related injuries are treated...

Hurricanes Leave Rise in Hospitalizations in Their Wake

Hospitals are swamped with older patients after hurricanes, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data on hospitalizations for adults 65 and older in the month following eight of the United States' largest hurricanes in recent years.

In this age group, post-hurricane increases in hospitalizations for any reason ranged from 10% (Hurricane Irene, 2011) to 23% (Hurricane Sandy, 2012)...

Disasters Leave a Rise in Suicides in Their Wake: Study

Hurricanes, tornadoes and other major disasters can cause more damage than devastation to property, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that the severe emotional distress and anxiety for those who have lived through major disasters can also lead to suicide.

The authors examined 281 natural disasters during a 12-year period and their impact on suicide rates in those communities.<...

Global Warming Has Ticks Jumping From Dogs to Humans

Climate change could increase people's risk of getting dangerous diseases from ticks, researchers warn.

The investigators conducted tests with brown dog ticks that carry the bacteria that cause the deadly disease Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) and found the ticks are much more likely to prefer feeding on the blood of people than dogs when temperatures rise.

Brown dog ticks are ...

Global Warming Could Bring Added Risks for Pregnant Women

Global warming could increase rates of serious pregnancy problems, researchers warn.

They analyzed 70 studies from 27 countries that reported associations between high temperatures and preterm birth, birth weight and stillbirths.

"Given increases in the frequency and intensity of heat waves, the number of pregnant women exposed to these conditions worldwide, and the significant...

Warming World Could Alter West Nile Transmission in U.S.

Climate change could give West Nile virus a boost in some areas of the United States, but reduce its spread in other regions, a new study suggests.

The mosquito-borne virus spreads most efficiently in the United States at temperatures between 75.2 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a study published Sept. 15 in the journal eLife.

"As the climate warms, it is crit...

Wildfires Ravage Land, and Lungs, Across the U.S. West

HVAC repairman Brad Sissell shrugged off the acid-yellow air surrounding him and kept working, preparing a gas pipe for a new range going into a Salem, Ore., home.

Less than a half-hour's drive away, nearly 200,000 acres were burning in one of the major Oregon wildfires that has sent a full tenth of the state's population fleeing for shelter.

But it was a workday and so Siss...

West Coast Wildfires, COVID a Double Whammy to Lung Health

Even as wildfires rage across California, Oregon and Washington, another danger lurks in the eerie orange haze that has enveloped U.S. cities, towns and neighborhoods this week: an increased risk of catching COVID-19.

Wildfire smoke can irritate the lungs and harm the immune system, explained Dr. Cheryl Pirozzi, a pulmonologist at University of Utah Health. The particulate pollution c...

Hot Asphalt Releases a Lot of Pollution Into the Air

Asphalt baking in the summer sunshine is no fun for tender feet, but a new study suggests it's not doing your lungs any favors either.

As it heats up, asphalt releases chemical compounds that contribute to air pollution. And its emissions double as its temperature increases from 104 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, researchers found.

Sunlight plays a key role in these asphalt emis...

What Is More Deadly in the U.S.: Hot Weather or Cold?

Extreme weather days have been on the rise worldwide since the advent of global warming. But a new U.S. study finds that cold weather is responsible for most temperature-related deaths in Illinois.

Researchers analyzed data on heat- and cold-related injuries that required a hospital visit in the state between 2011 and 2018. They identified around 24,000 cases each related to the cold ...

COVID-19 and Hurricane Season Could Be Deadly Mix

A hurricane is bearing down on your coastal community, bringing with it deadly storm surge flooding and airborne debris propelled by high winds.

But this year there's another killer lurking about -- the invisible menace posed by the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Public health and emergency management experts are sounding the alarm that the twin risks of the annual hurricane season a...

Climate Change Could Bring Heat 'Health Crisis' to U.S. Cities

Some of the leading hotspots in the United States are on track to become even more sweltering in the coming decades -- thanks to a combination of greenhouse gas emissions, urban development and population growth.

In a new study, researchers estimate that over the course of this century, the biggest relative increases in extreme heat will hit cities in the Sunbelt -- including Atlanta;...

As Climate Change Intensifies Storms, Seniors' Health Could Suffer: Study

Global warming may ultimately rain on everyone's parade, but new research suggests that major thunderstorms are already wreaking some havoc on the respiratory health of seniors.

That's because atmospheric changes that precede storms increase the risk that older people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) could develop breathing problems serious enough to send th...

Pandemic Could Complicate Hurricane Season

As Hurricane Isaias moved toward the east coast of Florida on Friday, one expert warns that the coronavirus pandemic could make preparing for an active hurricane season even more challenging.

The average hurricane season has about 12 named storms, but up to 20 storms are being predicted this season, according to Marshall Shepherd, director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the Un...

Summer's Toxic Algae Blooms: A Growing Threat to Health?

Every summer seems to bring fresh warnings of toxic algae blooming in local ponds, lakes and waterways.

These toxic blooms are known to be dangerous to human and animal health, but a new study suggests they might be even more harmful than previously thought.

A single massive blue-green algae bloom in Florida's Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee River flowed into the Gulf...

Expert Tips to Help You Beat the Heat

With much of the United States blanketed by a heat wave this week, the American Red Cross offers some survival tips.

Each year, extreme heat kills more than 600 people in the United States. And many others are at risk of heat-related illness, especially adults aged 65 and older and those with chronic medical conditions, the Red Cross noted in a news release.

Electric fans ma...

Coming This Way: Huge Saharan Dust Plume Will Affect Americans' Health

A pandemic, a slew of protests -- and now a huge blanket of Sahara Desert dust will engulf parts of the United States this week.

That's what some weary Americans will have to brace themselves for by Wednesday or Thursday, meteorologists and health experts warn.

The dust plume, drifting from North Africa across the Atlantic to North America, occurs a few times every year, the...

Don't Be a 'Hot-Head': Study Suggests Head Overheating Impairs Thinking

Can working or playing in the hot sun "fry" your brain?

Yes, claims a new, small study that found too much heat on the head hampered thinking in volunteers.

Most people know that high temperatures can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke as the body's core temperature becomes dangerously high, but the beating sun can affect your brain even if your body temperature stays norm...

Climate Change, Smog Could Mean More Preemie Babies: Study

Here's more bad news associated with climate change: Pregnant women exposed to air pollution or heat waves face a greater risk of having a preterm or underweight baby, a new research review finds.

The review, of 68 studies from across the United States, found that the large majority arrived at the same conclusion: Babies were at greater risk when their mothers lived in areas with poor...

Why Some Dogs Are at Higher Odds of Dying From Heat

As summer temperatures soar, dogs are at risk of potentially fatal heat-related illness -- and certain ones appear particularly vulnerable, a large new study confirms.

The study, of more than 900,000 dogs, found that older pooches and those who carried extra pounds were at increased risk. The same was true of certain breeds -- often dogs with "flat" faces, such as bulldogs and pugs.

How Might Hot Summer Days Affect COVID Spread?

Sunny days are associated with higher rates of COVID-19, likely because they tempt more people outdoors, putting them at increased risk of infection, researchers say.

But they also found that higher heat and humidity may slow the spread of COVID-19.

And they said their study might shed light on how different seasons may affect the spread of the disease.

"There is a...

Coronavirus May Be Seasonal After All

Here's a glimmer of hope about the new coronavirus: New research finds it appears to follow a seasonal pattern that is similar to the flu.

Scientists found that all cities/regions with large COVID-19 outbreaks have similar winter climates, with an average temperature of 41 to 52 degrees Fahrenheit, average humidity levels of 47% to 79%, and are located within a latitude band o...

COVID-19 Cases Drop in Warm Weather, But Not Much

So many questions remain unanswered about COVID-19, including whether the pandemic coronavirus will wane with warmer weather, like some other respiratory viruses.

In search of an answer, researchers at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass., studied the effects of temperature, precipitation and sunlight (UV index) on the number of COVID-19 cases across the United States during the...

Pollen Fragments Linger After Rains, Leaving Allergy Sufferers Miserable

Spring showers bring … pollen.

That's the surprising discovery made by researchers when they measured tree pollen fragment concentrations during and after spring rains of varying intensity in Iowa City between April 17 and May 31, 2019.

Rain fell on 28 days of the study period, which is prime tree pollen season. There were light rains, thunderstorms, and a severe stor...

Planet Already Seeing Temperatures Beyond Human Tolerability

Researchers have predicted that if climate change goes unabated, the planet will experience intolerable heat in several decades. But a new study has found that in certain global hot spots, it's already happening.

In recent years, certain regions -- including the Persian Gulf, Indian subcontinent and some Mexican locales -- have recorded off-the-charts combinations of heat and humidity...

Will Warmer Temps Help Contain Coronavirus? Two Studies Say Not Really

Two new reports suggest that the warm summer months will not significantly slow the novel coronavirus as it spreads around the globe.

"Summer is not going to make this go away," said Dionne Gesink, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health who co-authored a May 8 report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that found neither temp...

Dangerously Hot Days for U.S. Farm Workers Could Double by 2050

Dangerously hot days for crop pickers in the United States will double over the next three decades because of climate change, a new study warns.

"Studies of climate change and agriculture have traditionally focused on crop yield projections, especially staple crops like corn and wheat," lead author Michelle Tigchelaar, a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University who conducted the...

During Droughts, Many Poor Americans Will Lack Clean Tap Water: Study

Poor and minority Americans are most likely to lose access to clean tap water as droughts become more common and severe, a new paper says.

Water service in the United States is delivered by tens of thousands of community systems, most of which are small and funded locally, according to the study.

More than 80% of the 50,000-plus U.S. community water systems delivering wa...

Broiling in a Heat Wave? Wet T-shirt Can Safely Cool You Down

A wet T-shirt may cool seniors more effectively than an electric fan in hot, humid weather, reducing their risk of heat-related illness, according to a new study.

It included adult volunteers, average age 68, who sat for two hours in a room with an air temperature of 108 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of 34%.

Volunteers did three tests. In one, they wore a dr...

Don't Count on Warmer Weather to Curb COVID-19

Both the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a report out of China are dampening hopes that -- as happens with colds and the flu -- COVID-19 might begin to fade with hotter weather.

"Given that countries currently in 'summer' climates, such as Australia and Iran, are experiencing rapid virus spread, a decrease in cases with increases in humidity and temperature elsewhere should not ...

Extreme Heat of Climate Change Could Triple Heart-Related Deaths

Heart disease deaths spike with extreme heat, and rising temperatures due to climate change may lead to a surge in such deaths in hot regions, researchers say.

For the study, the investigators analyzed 2010 to 2016 data on more than 15,000 heart-related deaths among people aged 15 and older in Kuwait, which has an average temperature of 82.2 degrees Fahrenheit (F).

Compared ...

Climate Change's Hotter Days Will Take Toll on Mental Health

As the days heat up, people tend to report more emotional distress, a new study finds, adding to concerns that global warming could take a growing mental health toll.

The study of more than 3 million Americans found that the longer people had to sweat out 80-degree days, the bigger the mental health drain. They were more likely to report problems with depression, stress and emotional ...

Global Warming Could Trigger Even More Extreme Weather Than Thought

Using past weather data to predict climate change-linked increases in extreme weather events may underestimate how often they'll occur, with potentially serious consequences, a Stanford University study says.

It found that predictions based solely on historical records underestimated by about half the actual number of extremely hot days in Europe and East Asia, as well as the number o...

Study Suggests COVID-19 Might Follow Seasonal Pattern

The novel coronavirus appears to be seasonal in nature, with major outbreaks occurring mainly in regions that match a specific set of climate conditions, a new study argues.

All areas experiencing significant outbreaks of COVID-19 fall within a northern corridor that has an average temperature of 41 to 52 degrees Fahrenheit and an average humidity of 47% to 79%, according to v...

An Expert's Guide to a Safe Run in Cold Weather

Some people love to run no matter the season, even cold weather, and that is OK as long as you take proper precautions, a physical therapist says.

"It's up to the runner. As long as he or she is healthy, wearing appropriate attire and highly visible, the cold doesn't have to deter you from being outside," said Grace "Annie" Neurohr. She's a therapist and running specialist at Sinai Ho...

Could the Weather Swings of Climate Change Make Flu Seasons Worse?

Climate change, and the sudden weather changes it brings, could fuel future flu epidemics, researchers warn in a new report.

They used historical data to assess how major weather swings in the fall months could affect flu season in highly populated areas of the United States, mainland China, Italy and France.

Specifically, the researchers examined weather patterns and averag...

Keep Your Kids Safe, Warm in Wintertime Fun

Sledding, skiing and ice skating are big fun in the winter, but can lead to big injuries, too.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reminds parents to take steps to help their kids avoid injury and make sure they're dressed appropriately for the cold weather.

"This is the time of year when we see people return from winter break vacations with knee injuries from skiing, ...

Shovel That Snow, but Spare Your Back

Almost everyone gets stuck shoveling snow at some point during the winter. To prevent back pain and strain, one spinal expert has some advice.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Srinivasu Kusuma, from the University of Chicago Medicine Medical Group, noted it's all in the precautions you take before you tackle your snow-covered driveway.

  • Decide if it's safe to shovel. If y...

AHA News: Are You Drinking Enough During Winter Months?

Remembering to drink enough water is easy during the summer, when higher temperatures and outdoor activities drive the point home. But staying adequately hydrated is just as important during the winter.

Environmental humidity plays a role, said Stavros Kavouras, who directs the Hydration Science Lab at Arizona State University in Phoenix. Central heating causes drier interior environ...

AHA News: Cold Heart Facts: Why You Need to Watch Out in Winter

When Arctic weather is on the way, forecasters often alert you to protect your pets or watch out on the roads. Perhaps they also should warn you about your heart.

Winter cold and other seasonal factors raise the risk of heart attacks and more. It's an issue whether you're in frigid Alaska or sunny California.

Dr. Robert A. Kloner has worked on studies showing cardiac death...