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Coronavirus

Coronavirus' Top Targets: Men, Seniors, Smokers

Early data suggested that men were more vulnerable, as they accounted for just more than half the cases, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Infected men died twice as often as infected women.
web md - 5 hours ago
Co-parent adoption: A critical protection for LGBTQ+ families - harvard

Co-parent adoption: A critical protection for LGBTQ+ families

Establishing a legal relationship between parents and their children allows both parents to make care decisions. For LGBTQ+ families, this can be especially important. In some states, co-parent adoption, which offers broader protection than a state birth certificate, is available. The post Co-parent adoption: A critical protection for LGBTQ+ families appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 1 day ago
With New Hotspots, Coronavirus on Verge of Pandemic  - web md

With New Hotspots, Coronavirus on Verge of Pandemic

Pandemics are more severe than outbreaks or epidemics. It’s a term that signals that a disease is a threat to the entire world.  While public health officials seemed to downplay the significance of attaching the word to COVID-19, there’s no doubt about its importance in public messaging.
web md - 2 days ago
Hands or feet asleep? What to do - harvard

Hands or feet asleep? What to do

It’s happened to all of us: a hand or leg temporarily “falls asleep,” usually from being in one position for too long. Why does it happen? Are there times when you should be concerned about it? The post Hands or feet asleep? What to do appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 5 days ago
C. difficile (C. diff): An urgent threat - harvard

C. difficile (C. diff): An urgent threat

The bacteria known as C. diff has become a leading cause of infection among hospitalized patients. The infection is more common following antibiotic therapy, and it is challenging to treat because of a high relapse rate. The post C. difficile (C. diff): An urgent threat appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 6 days ago
Can light therapies help with bipolar disorder? - harvard

Can light therapies help with bipolar disorder?

One approach to treating bipolar disorders is manipulation of the body’s circadian rhythms. A recent review of research found that such therapies may help, often in combination with medications and psychotherapy. The post Can light therapies help with bipolar disorder? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 1 week ago
Good news for those with type 2 diabetes: Healthy lifestyle matters - harvard

Good news for those with type 2 diabetes: Healthy lifestyle matters

Lifestyle changes have been shown to reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event, but can they also help those with diabetes? A recent study found a positive association between healthy lifestyle choices and reduced cardiovascular risk for those with type 2 diabetes. The post Good news for those with type 2 diabetes: Healthy lifestyle matters appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 1 week ago
Rethinking Milk: Science Takes On the Dairy Dilemma  - web md

Rethinking Milk: Science Takes On the Dairy Dilemma

Dairy products are rich in calcium and protein, and they have long been promoted as important for helping kids grow and helping kids and adults build and maintain strong bones. Now a new study questions whether diary deserves its health halo.
web md - 1 week ago
What’s the best way to manage agitation related to dementia? - harvard

What’s the best way to manage agitation related to dementia?

When people with dementia start exhibiting agitated behaviors, doctors often prescribe medications, but these have risks of serious side effects. A new study found that nondrug interventions were more effective than medications in reducing agitation. The post What’s the best way to manage agitation related to dementia? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 1 week ago
Good for your teeth, bad for your bones? - harvard

Good for your teeth, bad for your bones?

Could an ingredient in toothpaste be harmful to your bones? Triclosan, an antibacterial agent, has been banned from soaps and hand sanitizers by the FDA, and researchers have found that women with the highest levels of triclosan in their urine had low bone density measurements. The post Good for your teeth, bad for your bones? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 1 week ago
When is a heavy period too heavy? - harvard

When is a heavy period too heavy?

Girls and their parents often wonder when bleeding with a period is too heavy. It's normal for periods to be irregular and occasionally heavy in the first few years after menstruation starts, but some signs of heavy bleeding merit a call to your child’s doctor. The post When is a heavy period too heavy? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
Mind-body therapies can reduce pain and opioid use - harvard

Mind-body therapies can reduce pain and opioid use

Researchers looking for ways to help people manage pain without drugs found that the practice of mind-body therapies was associated with reduced pain intensity, and may also assist some people in reducing their use of opioid medications. The post Mind-body therapies can reduce pain and opioid use appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
Skin care shouldn’t be colorblind - harvard

Skin care shouldn’t be colorblind

Because skin color affects the presentation of skin conditions, dermatologists must consider skin color in making diagnoses. Because of this, people of color may want to seek out a dermatologist who understands their specific needs and concerns. The post Skin care shouldn’t be colorblind appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
What’s in a number? Looking at life expectancy in the US - harvard

What’s in a number? Looking at life expectancy in the US

Between 1959 and 2014, average life expectancy in the United States rose astoundingly by nearly a decade. Then it began declining. A recent report examining this situation raises tough questions about that unexpected change. The post What’s in a number? Looking at life expectancy in the US appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
More Patients Turning to

More Patients Turning to 'Direct Primary Care'

DPC Frontier, which tracks the number of direct primary care practices nationally, estimates there are 1,219 practices in 48 states and Washington, D.C. They range in size from solo practitioners to corporate, multisite direct primary care organizations with thousands of doctors.
web md - 2 weeks ago
With a little planning, vegan diets can be a healthful choice - harvard

With a little planning, vegan diets can be a healthful choice

There is ample evidence to support the healthfulness of a vegan diet. However, those who choose vegan eating may not get enough of some nutrients unless they pay careful attention to their food intake, or choose to take supplements. The post With a little planning, vegan diets can be a healthful choice appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
Coronavirus: What parents should know and do - harvard

Coronavirus: What parents should know and do

It’s natural for parents to be worried about whether their children could be at risk from the novel coronavirus. While there is much that is still not known, common sense and simple public health precautions will help protect everyone. The post Coronavirus: What parents should know and do appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 3 weeks ago
Infertility the second time around - harvard

Infertility the second time around

If you have a child and wish for more but are struggling with fertility issues, you may have many feelings and concerns. Here are some steps and strategies you may find helpful. The post Infertility the second time around appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 3 weeks ago
Newer skin cancer treatments improve prognosis for those with cutaneous melanoma - harvard

Newer skin cancer treatments improve prognosis for those with cutaneous melanoma

Though only about 1% of skin cancers are melanomas, they are responsible for 90% of skin cancer deaths. Recent advances in treatment options have improved survival rates for melanoma, but it’s still best to take preventive steps to protect your skin. The post Newer skin cancer treatments improve prognosis for those with cutaneous melanoma appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 3 weeks ago
Be careful where you get your news about coronavirus - harvard

Be careful where you get your news about coronavirus

New information about the spread of coronavirus is coming at us seemingly every minute from many sources. But how much of this information is trustworthy? And which sources should you believe? The post Be careful where you get your news about coronavirus appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 3 weeks ago
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harvard
Are you getting enough sleep… or too much? Sleep and stroke risk

Are you getting enough sleep… or too much? Sleep and stroke risk

harvard - 4 weeks ago

The importance of getting enough sleep has been emphasized by hundreds of studies in recent years, and weve covered the topic many times on this blog.

Inadequate sleep has been linked to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health problems. And, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, up to 72,000 car accidents and 6,000 deaths occur each year due to sleep-deprived drivers.

But what about too much sleep? Could that be bad for you, too? According to a new study, the answer may be yes.

More sleep, more strokes?

Researchers publishing in the December 11, 2019, online issue of Neurology describe an analysis of stroke risk among nearly 32,000 adults with an average age of 62. The studys authors compared rates of stroke with study subjects self-reported sleep habits.

Their findings were surprising (at least to me) and included:

  • Those who reported sleeping nine or more hours each night had a 23% higher risk of stroke than those sleeping less than eight hours each night.
  • Stroke risk was 25% higher among those who took midday naps for at least 90 minutes compared with those napping for less than 30 minutes.

Poor sleep quality was also linked to higher stroke risk

Combinations of these factors had an even more dramatic effect on stroke risk, including an 85% higher risk among those who slept at least nine hours each night and also took midday naps for at least 90 minutes. Similarly, an 82% higher stroke risk was observed among those who slept longer at night and also reported poor sleep quality.

Does this mean too much sleep causes strokes?

If you are a person who sleeps more than nine hours each night, takes long midday naps, and feels your sleep quality is poor, these results may be troubling. But before trying to change your sleep habits, keep in mind this study did not conclude that more sleep actually causes strokes.

This study found an association between stroke risk and longer sleep, longer midday napping, or poor sleep quality. But an association is not the same as causation. Rather than longer sleep duration causing strokes, there are other possible explanations for the findings. For example, people who sleep more at night or nap more during the day may have other risk factors for stroke, such as:

  • A higher incidence of depression. Excessive sleeping or poor sleep quality may be symptoms of depression, and prior studies have noted higher stroke rates among depressed individuals.
  • A more sedentary lifestyle. Those who are not active may sleep or nap more and also have more cardiovascular risk factors (such as smoking or hypertension) than those who exercise regularly. Past research has noted less favorable cholesterol levels and larger waist circumference among long sleepers and nappers.
  • Sleep apnea. Longer sleep duration, more napping, and poor-quality sleep may be more common among people with sleep apnea, a condition linked to an increased risk of stroke. This new study did not ask subjects about sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.

In addition, this study had weaknesses that could call its findings into question or limit its applicability. These include reliance on self-reported sleep habits and quality, and inclusion only of middle-aged and older Chinese adults without prior cancer or cardiovascular disease; the results might have been quite different if others were included in the study.

The bottom line

Sleep is a mysterious thing. Its often unclear why some people sleep more or less than others, or why certain sleep disorders (such as insomnia or sleep apnea) affect so many people while sparing others. At a time when theres so much media emphasis on the importance of getting enough sleep, this new study raises the possibility that more sleep may not always be a good thing. Still, well need additional research on the question of whether more sleep is hazardous before making any firm recommendations to limit sleep duration.

The post Are you getting enough sleep or too much? Sleep and stroke risk appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.

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