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MONDAY, Oct. 2, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Extensive exercise regimens are keeping astronauts healthy and protecting their hearts during extended space missions, new research finds.

A study from scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas found no loss of heart mass...

Sweltering temperatures appear to fuel drug-related hospital visits, a problem that could be worsening with climate change, a new study suggests.

“We saw that during periods of higher temperatures, there was a corresponding increase in hospital visits related to alcohol and substance use, which also brings attention to some less obvious potential consequences of climate change,” said ...

Having safer neighborhoods, where families feel less stress, can help prevent child abuse, according to new research that supports this long-suspected theory.

When parents feel higher levels of stress or hopelessness about their surroundings, they may have a harder time caring for their children,

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 25, 2023
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  • As working class neighborhoods gentrify, you'll likely see rents rise, pricey restaurants move in — and maybe also a rise in gunshot wounds, researchers say.

    In U.S. neighborhoods that gentrified, gun injuries were 62% higher than they were in similar neighborhoods that hadn’t gone upscale, according to a new study.

    Overall firearm incidence was also 26% higher in these gentrif...

    More people around the world are exposed to wildfire smoke that has the potential to harm human health, and their numbers are growing, new research finds.

    More than 2 billion people are exposed to at least one day of potentially health-impacting wildfire smoke each year, a figure that has grown by almost 7% in the past decade, according to a study led by Australian scientists.

    Mor...

    Brown rats found and analyzed near Atlanta now carry rat lungworm, researchers report.

    It's a parasite that can trigger a dangerous brain encephalitis in both people and pets, and which now threatens a wide area of the U.S. Southeast.

    Researchers in Georgia say the microscopic rat lungworm, known scientifically as Angiostrongylus cantonensis, typically begins its life cycle...

    How big is a hospital bed’s carbon footprint?

    Pretty big, new research shows.

    One hospital bed alone was roughly equivalent to the carbon footprint of five Canadian households, according to researchers studying a British Columbia hospital during 2019. They identified energy and water use and the purchasing of medical products as the hospital’s primary energy hotspots, accountin...

    Air pollution has long been known to harm the heart and lungs, but new research suggests it might also raise the risk of breast cancer.

    Researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) discovered that the largest increases in breast cancer incidence were among women who, on average, had higher levels of particulate...

    When you have COVID-19, when are you most infectious? Researchers are getting closer to an answer, with a new study finding that folks exhale the highest amounts of virus during the first eight days of their illness.

    Scientists found that patients exhale quite a bit of virus during the first several days — as many as 1,000 copies of airborne virus per minute.

    Those levels drop s...

    Global warming has been linked to higher rates of asthma, heart disease and other health concerns. Now, new research suggests that rising temperatures across the planet may place pregnant women at greater risk for severe pregnancy-related illnesses, especially in their third trimester.

    And this is likely to get worse in the near future, said study author

  • Denise Mann HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 8, 2023
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  • As waters warm across the United States and hurricanes and flooding season begins, the odds of being infected by flesh-eating bacteria are also rising, U.S. health officials warn.

    According to a Sept. 1 health alert from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a dozen types of the bacteria called <...

    Phthalates are commonly used in plastics, and researchers have now tied them to developmental issues in toddler boys who were exposed to the chemical in the womb.

    The new study links the chemicals to emotional and behavioral development issues in 2-year-old boys ...

    When factoring in why children get asthma, a child's neighborhood may be important to consider.

    New research finds that living in a neighborhood during early childhood that has better access to resources was associated with lower asthma incidence. Better resourc...

    Young Black children living in racially segregated U.S. neighborhoods are at heightened risk of potentially brain-damaging lead exposure, a new study warns.

    The study, of nearly 321,000 North Carolina children under the age of 7, found that those living in predominantly Black neighborhoods had higher blood levels of lead than those living in more integrated areas.

    Experts said the f...

    Smoke from Canadian wildfires sent high numbers of people suffering from asthma attacks to America's emergency rooms this spring and summer, according to two new reports.

    From April 30 to August 4, 2023, smoke from out-of-control wildfires in Canada increased emergency room visits for asthma by 17% over average, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ...

    Young people have high levels of distress about climate change, and a new study argues that their anguish could be key to fighting it.

    “People of all ages are being affected by the climate crisis. Young people in particular, though, will live through more of the unfolding hazards of the climate crisis than older generations,” said researcher

  • Sarah D. Collins HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 23, 2023
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  • When astronauts travel to space, the experience depletes their red blood cells and bone, according to a new study.

    Fortunately, it appears their bodies can eventually replenish them after they’ve returned to Earth, thanks to fat stored in the bone marrow.

    “We found that astronauts had significantly less fat in their bone marrow about a month after returning to Earth,” said se...

    One source of lead exposure in children may surprise you.

    It’s secondhand smoke, according to a Texas A&M University study.

    “Further research will likely paint a clearer picture of this exposure route, especially in younger children, but the findi...

    Death rates skyrocket during extreme weather events among the most vulnerable Americans, especially those from minority groups.

    A study looking at hurricanes over more than three decades showed that their impacts varied and were driven by differences in social, economic and demographic factors such as race.

    “Really, we wanted to understand what the comparative impact was over tim...

    While vast quantities of peels from the aloe vera plant are thrown out every year as agricultural waste, this natural ingredient has potential to be a powerful insecticide, new research suggests.

    “It's likely that millions of tons of aloe peels are disposed of globally every year,” said principal investigator

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 15, 2023
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  • Mosquitoes can be a big pest, leaving behind itchy bumps on skin and potentially spreading serious diseases, such as West Nile virus.

    Sam Telford III is a professor of infectious disease and global health at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and a commissioner for the Central Ma...

    Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are living in an environment that contains higher levels of potentially harmful chemicals than seen in American homes, new research reveals.

    The discovery is important because it could guide the design of future spacecraft.

    “Our findings have implications for future space stations and habitats, where it may be possible to exc...

    An investigation into a high number of cancers at a Montana nuclear missile base has led to the discovery of unsafe levels of a likely carcinogen.

    The hundreds of cancer cases appear to be connected to underground launch control centers at Malmstrom Air Force Base.

    Levels of PCBs, an oily or waxy substance that is considered a

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 8, 2023
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  • While the record-breaking heat the United States is experiencing this summer can stress people to their limits, it can be particularly hard to navigate for those with mental health issues.

    "All mental illnesses increase with heat because it results in more fatigue, irritability and anxiety, and it can exacerbate depressive episodes," said

  • Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
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  • July 27, 2023
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  • Women are more likely to develop endometriosis if they have elevated levels of cadmium in their system, a new study reports.

    Twice as many women with slightly or moderately elevated levels of the toxic element wound up with endometriosis compared to women with the lowest levels, researchers say.

    “Although endometriosis is estimated to affect 1 in 10 women, the reason why this cond...

    The Biden administration on Monday awarded $58 million in grants to help schools and daycare centers remove lead from drinking water.

    The announcement came during an event in Boston.

    “I am excited to join local leaders in Boston to announce $58 million in grant funding that can be used to test for lead in drinking water, identify potential sources, and remove those so...

    Tornado damage to a Pfizer drug-making plant in North Carolina is unlikely to trigger drug shortages across the country, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

    "We do not expect there to be any immediate significant impacts on supply, given the products are currently at hospitals and in the distribution system," FDA Commissioner

  • Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
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  • July 24, 2023
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  • Scientists have reported a link between air pollution and dementia risk, but they haven't had a good understanding of the mechanisms behind this association. Now, a new study provides some answers.

    “In this study, we found that two types of vitamin B-related amino acids played a role in increasing or decreasing the risk of dementia caused by air pollution,” said

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • July 21, 2023
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  • In areas where Black Americans have been historically affected by discriminatory housing practices, there is higher heart failure risk, according to new research.

    Researchers studying more than 2.3 million U.S. adults between 2014 and 2019 found that heart failure today was linked to "redlining," which began in the 1930s. Heart failure risk for Black people who lived in these redlined ZIP...

    The color of the oceans has changed over the past two decades, which has scientists concerned about the impact of climate change.

    “I've been running simulations that have been telling me for years that these changes in ocean color are going to happen,” said study co-author Stephanie Dutkiewicz, senior research scientist in M...

    Ticks may be responsible for the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Wisconsin's deer population, according to a new study.

    Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found that ticks can harbor transmissible amounts of the protein particle that causes CWD, a fatal neurological disease seen in deer, elk and moose.

    The pathogen, prion, can pass through soil or th...

    The cleanup of industrial chemicals following a freight train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, early this year released high levels of some dangerous gases, including acrolein, investigators say.

    The Norfolk Southern freight train was carrying numerous hazardous chemicals. To avoid a catastrophic explosion after the Feb. 3 derailment, authorities opted for a...

    U.S. federal officials took a big step toward protecting children from a contaminant blamed for irreversible health effects, proposing tougher standards for removing lead-based paint in pre-1978 buildings and child care facilities.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • July 12, 2023
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  • As extreme heat continues to blanket numerous parts of the United States, Americans with dementia may be particularly challenged.

    “Triple-digit temperatures and heat indexes are especially dangerous for someone with a dementia-related illness such as Alzheimer's disease, because the effects of dementia can impair their ability to notice if they are developing heat stroke or dehydra...

    “Forever chemicals” are widespread in the environment, and new research finds they can be detected in about 45% of U.S. tap water samples.

    The chemicals are per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, or PFAS, and their spread through drinking water -- both tap and well -- may be even higher because researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) were unable to test for all of them,...

    Older American adults who live in warmer regions are more likely to have serious vision impairment than those who live in cooler places, new research finds.

    Living with average temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit or above -- think South Florida, for example -- created much higher odds of blindness or trouble seeing even with glasses, according to a new study of 1.7 million people.
    ...

    For the second time this month, massive plumes of smoke from hundreds of out-of-control Canadian wildfires are polluting much of America's air.

    Among the major U.S. cities now experiencing poor air quality are St. Louis, Milwaukee, Cincinnati and Chicago, while entire states have also issued air quality alerts, according to the

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • June 29, 2023
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  • Clouds of smoke continue to drift over the Eastern United States and Europe from wildfires in Canada, and experts are predicting a longer and more destructive wildfire season due to rising temperatures and drier conditions.

    Now, new research puts a numbe...

    Wild and feral cats appear to release more toxoplasmosis parasites in places densely populated with people, new research suggests.

    These cats also "shed" more when the temperature is warmer, a significant finding given climate change, according to the report published online June 21 in PLOS ONE.

    Policymakers could help protect humans from this illness by better managing th...

    Space travel appears to weaken astronauts' immune systems, and researchers believe changes in gene expression are the culprit.

    These immune deficits aren't permanent. They disappear when back on Earth, often within weeks, according to new research published June 22 in Frontiers in Immunology.

    “Here we show that the expression of many genes rel...

    Just like their humans, dogs get cranky when temperatures and air pollution levels surge.

    Heat and air pollution have previously been linked to human aggression. Now, researchers say it also appears that there are more dog bites on hot, polluted days.

    More research is needed to confirm these findings, according to study author

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • June 16, 2023
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  • Astronauts spending six months or longer in space should stretch their time between trips to three years, warns new research on the impact of space travel on the brain.

    To study this, researchers examined the brain scans of 30 astronauts, looking at scans that depicted their brains both before and after their missions.

    The research team included missions that were two weeks long, si...

    Consider yourself a lifesaver if you opt for an electric vehicle next time you buy or lease a new car.

    Electric cars can save millions of lives and reduce health care costs by improving air quality so people can breathe better and freer, according to a new report by the American Lung Association. Zero-emission electric vehicles don't emit exhaust gas or other pollutants into the atmospher...

    Wildfires that have been spreading throughout Canada in recent weeks are now spewing tons of smoke southward into the United States.

    The smoke was so thick on Tuesday that New York City's skyline could not be seen clearly and air quality alerts were issued to residents from parts of the N...

    Millions of stray cats roam the world over, and surgical sterilization has long been the primary method of population control.

    But a small new study shows promising results for a one-and-done contraceptive injection.

    Researchers say this first-of-its-kind approach appears safe and effective.

    “A non-surgical contraceptive that could result in lifetime sterility following...

    Ticks are extremely resilient even when temperatures vary wildly, according to scientists who are working to better understand the spread of Lyme disease.

    In their new study, black-legged ticks, notorious for carrying pathogens, were very good at surviving both extreme cold and high heat, the scientists found. This was true both for nymph and adult ticks. Only larval ticks were more affec...

    A potentially deadly germ has made its way to the U.S. Gulf Coast, health officials warned this week.

    So far, three cases of infection from the bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei have been reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bacteria causes melioidosis, which can be fatal if left untreated.

    "It is an environmental organism that lives natural...

    Large, uncontrolled wildfires in Nova Scotia are creating unhealthy air in the Northeast region of the United States, including parts of Connecticut.

    This significant smoke plume is likely to cause elevated levels of fine particulate matter, the American Lung Association warned in its alert. Particulate matter contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can ...

    Microplastic pollution is altering the gut microbiomes of wild seabirds and that could be a warning sign for humans, researchers report.

    Scientists from McGill University in Montreal, along with colleagues from around the world, found that tiny bits of plastic present in the gastrointestinal system of seabirds have modified the gut's microbiome. The plastics are also reducing levels of ad...

    Be cautious when heading to Florida's beaches this summer, an expert warned, as a 5,000-mile floating mass of sargassum seaweed has begun washing up on the state's shores.

    It can be low risk in some instances, but it also has the potential for triggering serious respiratory health issues.

    “The sargassum itself is not dangerous. It can have different jellyfish and sea creatures i...

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