The Week: Most Recent Health Posts recent posts.en-usTue, 08 Apr 2014 08:22:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Health Posts from THE WEEKTue, 08 Apr 2014 08:22:00 -0400How to avoid getting sick<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Even though spring is officially here, not a day goes by where I don't see someone sniffling or coughing. </span><span>Here are seven simple tips to keep in mind that will help prevent cold and flu. </p><p><strong>1. Wash your hands.</strong><br /> This is something you should be doing a lot. Most of what we do every day involves touch. Consider my local coffee shop, at least two &mdash; and often three &mdash; people touch that cup before it even gets to me. I'm not a germaphobe, yet if you're only going to do one thing, do this.</p><p><strong>2. Don't pick your nose, rub your eyes, or otherwise touch your face.</strong><br /> My mom told me "this is the way...</p></span> <a href="">More</a>By Shane ParrishTue, 08 Apr 2014 08:22:00 -0400How 3D printing could revolutionize organ transplants<img src="" /></P><p>Best known for building plastic objects, 3D printers are quickly becoming a promising tool in medicine.</p><p>The medical community has already used the printers to create skulls, tracheas, and even miniature model kidneys. And, one day, they may even be the solution for the organ shortage. <br /> <br /> Dr. Faiz Y. Bhora, associate professor of surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, explained that artificial materials have been long been used in the human body to help fix broken or worn out bones and other internal structures.</p><p>Where 3D printing stands out is that it can help...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/michelle-castillo" ><span class="byline">Michelle Castillo</span></a>Mon, 07 Apr 2014 07:08:00 -0400Confessions of a suicide survivor<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>I was the newcomer to the group, along with Elizabeth. I guessed she was in her late forties, but sorrow has a way of making age indeterminable. Elizabeth had just lost her son, Charlie, that month. She found Charlie after he hanged himself in her garage. (All names used in this story have been changed to protect subjects' privacy.) Before the meeting, we were both escorted into a side room off the hall, away from the group. A counselor explained to us how the system worked, and asked about our loved ones and ourselves. Elizabeth had a hard time speaking through her tears. We were given name...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Amanda Lin CostaSat, 05 Apr 2014 12:00:00 -0400The story behind a Mormon marijuana lobby<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>My 19-year-old sister is adorable. She's fiercely independent, a little moody, and obsessed with movies. She's also the reason my mother joined forces with other Utah moms to form a powerful "mommy lobby." Since late last year, these moms &mdash; many of them, like my mother, who had never before been active in politics &mdash; have sent letters to their representatives, gathered support from friends and colleagues, and even testified on Capitol Hill. Amelia, you see, has Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy, and our conservative Mormon family has found hope in the most unlikely of places...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Jacob GlennMon, 31 Mar 2014 06:54:00 -0400The future of artificial limbs<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong> What's driven the advances?</strong><br /></span><span class="s2">A combination of modern technology and the horrors of war. Since ancient times, combat injuries have forced doctors and inventors to create replacements for missing body parts, ranging from metal hooks to wooden legs. During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, improvements in body armor, triage, and surgical techniques meant that wounded soldiers were three times more likely to survive than casualties in Vietnam. As a result, about 1,800 vets came home with one or more missing limbs, prompting the government to begin investing heavily in improving those soldiers' lives...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSat, 22 Mar 2014 09:00:00 -0400The benefits of eating bugs<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><strong>YOU'VE PROBABLY HEARD</strong> of the Stone Age diet craze known as the Paleolithic Diet, made popular most recently by Dr. Loren Cordain's best-seller <em>The Paleo Diet</em>. The premise is simple: If our early human ancestors couldn't have eaten it, we shouldn't, either. It's the one time, it seems, that being like a caveman is a good thing.</p><p class="p1">The theory goes (and archaeological evidence corroborates) that early hunter-gatherers, while they may not have lived as long, still had some major health advantages on most of us modern humans. They were much taller, averaging 6-foot-5 to our 5-foot-11; had stronger, heavier...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Daniella MartinSat, 01 Mar 2014 12:00:00 -0500The worrying rise of the anti-vaccination movement<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong> Why are vaccination rates falling?</strong><br />Since the late 1990s, a growing number of American parents have become convinced &mdash; against all scientific evidence &mdash; that the risks of immunization outweigh the benefits. Their fears are rooted in a now-discredited 1998 study by a British doctor, Andrew Wakefield, who claimed that the onset of autism in 12 British children was linked to their being vaccinated for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). But subsequent studies failed to replicate Wakefield's findings, and an investigation found that his study was "an elaborate fraud," with deliberately falsified...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSat, 01 Mar 2014 09:00:00 -0500A drop in obesity: the skinny on those new statistics<img src="" /></P><p>Why are some kids getting fatter, more slowly?</p><p>That, in essence, is the question raised by the latest tranche of statistics on obesity. The headline: The rate of increase in childhood obesity slowed by 43 percent over the past decade in the U.S., with declines all across the aboard, although less so among poorer, at-risk families. Researchers at the CDC found that just 8 percent of 2- to 5-year olds surveyed met the clinical definition for obesity, compared to an average of 14 percent in previous studies.</p><p>Overall, the number of adults and children who qualified as obese in the study was about...</p> <a href="">More</a>Marc AmbinderTue, 25 Feb 2014 16:55:00 -0500How the VA is leading the way on LGBT patient care<img src="" /></P><p>Along with the growing acceptance of gay marriage, the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" &mdash; the policy that prevented gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military &mdash; has been a central part of the LGBT community's fight for equality. Since DADT's repeal, the military has surprised us all. It surprised the far right by demonstrating that the military didn't implode. It surprised most everyone else by recognizing same-sex partners nearly a year before the federal government did.</p><p>What is less known, however, is that the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), a branch of the Department...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Andrew ParkTue, 25 Feb 2014 14:20:00 -0500Heroin's lethal comeback<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong> Why is heroin use soaring?</strong><br /></span><span class="s2">It's become a dirt-cheap alternative to the prescription opiates abused by millions of Americans. With a dose of heroin now selling for as little as $5 to $10, about 669,000 people admitted using heroin in 2012, almost double the number in 2007, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The crisis includes cities such as Chicago and New York, but heroin use has also spread to the suburbs and rural areas in the Midwest and New England. It now affects the middle class and the wealthy &mdash; underscored this month by the overdose death of actor Philip Seymour...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/frances-weaver" ><span class="byline">Frances Weaver</span></a>Sat, 22 Feb 2014 10:00:00 -0500