The Week: Most Recent Health Posts recent posts.en-usMon, 20 Oct 2014 09:50:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Health Posts from THE WEEKMon, 20 Oct 2014 09:50:00 -0400How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy<img src="" /></P><p>If you're reading this, it's possible you'll live for a few hundred years. Maybe even thousands. Even better: you could live those years at your peak physical state.</p><p>At first glance, that's an absurd statement, going against the experience of all human history. However, Oxford University's Aubrey de Grey, a leading theoretician of aging, believes there is a 50 percent chance that someone alive today will live for 1,000 years.</p><p>Aging, according to de Grey, is essentially the lifelong accumulation of molecular and cellular damage throughout the body. Using stem cells, hormone therapies, anti-aging...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/nicholas-warino" ><span class="byline">Nicholas Warino</span></a>Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:50:00 -0400All the diseases you should worry about at least as much as Ebola<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Ebola is serious business in the United States, particularly if you're in the media. Turn on a TV and you have 24-hour Ebola coverage on three cable networks, with anchors breathlessly discussing everything from your pet's role in spreading Ebola to any number of alerts, threats, and false alarms for air travel passengers.</p><p>The Ebola virus has killed exactly one person in a country of over 316 million.</p><p>While worldwide it's a true threat (the WHO just called it "the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times"), Ebola has yet to pose the same kind of danger in the States. Indeed...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Gabriel BellWed, 15 Oct 2014 16:29:00 -0400The simple policy fix that could halt the spread of the deadly enterovirus<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">I imagine I wasn't the only parent who gasped when learning about the New Jersey boy who died from the rapidly spreading enterovirus 68. Four-year-old Eli Walller seemed healthy when he went to bed on Sept. 24, <em>The New York Times</em> reports, but when his parents went to check on him the next morning, he was dead.</p><p dir="ltr">This virus, which is predominantly affecting children, remains a mystery to medical experts. Early symptoms resemble those of a common cold, including coughing and wheezing. But from there, the virus can progress devastatingly fast, leading to intensive care, paralysis, or, in Waller's case...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/elissa-strauss" ><span class="byline">Elissa Strauss</span></a>Thu, 09 Oct 2014 06:06:00 -0400The joy of living beyond 75<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">When his energy began to ebb, and arthritis pain eroded his <em>joie de vivre</em>, my grandfather told me he was ready to die. "I've had a good life, but it's enough," he said. "It's time." A few months later, he died peacefully at home, before any hospital could get hold of him. Pop was 95 &mdash; two decades beyond the age that the renowned physician Ezekiel Emanuel has decided is the optimal time to exit, lest age render us "feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic." During the last 20 years of his life, my grandfather was none of those; everyone who knew him admired his vigor, his warmth, the twinkle in...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/william-falk" ><span class="byline">William Falk</span></a>Sun, 05 Oct 2014 09:00:00 -0400The danger of dining with an overweight companion<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Many factors influence our food choices. Our hunger level, of course. Any cravings we may be feeling. The extent to which our self-control has been depleted.</p><p>And then there's the BMI of our dining companions.</p><p>In a newly published study, people lining up for lunch ate more of an unhealthy pasta dish if the first person in the queue appeared to be overweight.</p><p>This dynamic was found regardless of whether the person at the head of the line served herself a healthy or unhealthy meal.</p><p>"Both the body type and serving behavior of an eating companion may influence the quality and quantity of our food...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Tom JacobsSat, 04 Oct 2014 14:00:00 -0400Why you probably don't have Ebola -- even if you shook hands with America's 'patient zero'<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">After a hectic trip from Liberia's capital of Monrovia to the airport, you finally make it onto your U.S.-bound plane and take your seat. The man next to you appears healthy and friendly. You introduce yourself, shake hands, and have an uneventful journey of small talk as you head back to Dallas, Texas. A few days later, you receive an urgent call from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The man who sat next to you on the plane just tested positive for the Ebola virus.</p><p dir="ltr">You start to feel panic rise in your chest, reliving the fateful handshake over and over. Your anxiety is perfectly...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Sara Stern-Nezer and Aliza Monroe-WiseWed, 01 Oct 2014 12:29:00 -0400Confronting our twisted relationship with food<img src="" /></P><p>Several years ago, Tatiana Gulenkina had her first brush with an eating disorder, when a classmate abruptly left school. Everyone had thought the girl was "just a skinny teenager." It was only after she left that they discovered she had been battling depression and anorexia nervosa. Soon after, a close friend of Gulenkina's admitted she too was struggling with eating &mdash; austerely dieting all week and then going on weekend food benders. Those experiences left a lasting impression.</p><p>Today, the Washington, D.C., photographer, now 26, is confronting these issues the best way she knows how &mdash...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/sarah-eberspacher" ><span class="byline">Sarah Eberspacher</span></a>Mon, 29 Sep 2014 13:00:00 -0400The battle over e-cigarettes<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong> Are e-cigarettes dangerous?</strong><br /> They're clearly less dangerous than cigarettes, but that doesn't mean they're safe. Electronic cigarettes are small, battery-powered devices that heat up a liquid containing nicotine and create an inhalable vapor instead of smoke. Like cigarettes, they provide a nicotine buzz, but they do not produce the tar, arsenic, benzene, vinyl chloride, and dozens of other carcinogens that result from burning tobacco. But critics contend that the health risks of "vaping" are still not known, especially because the liquid used to produce vapor contains various chemicals; some brands...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSat, 27 Sep 2014 08:00:00 -0400Can the U.S. Army degrade and destroy Ebola?<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>As the Ebola epidemic in West Africa accelerates beyond the capacity to count its toll, an unprecedented escalation in global support is evident, led by U.S. President Barack Obama's call for U.S. military intervention. In what will amount to the largest humanitarian commitment since the American response to the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia, the White House announced late on Sept. 15 that an estimated 3,000 military personnel will deploy to the Ebola-ravaged West African nations, alongside a significant increase in civilian mobilization.</p><p>Obama committed the United States, in...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Laurie GarrettMon, 22 Sep 2014 08:34:00 -0400Is back pain ruining your sex life?<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Sex and lower back pain might be the perfect recipe for a screwball comedy, but both the pain and the fear of exacerbating it are very real downers for a couple's sex life. Take heart, though: A new guide to sexual positions could help improve the mood.</p><p>Somewhere around four in five people will experience serious back pain at least once in their lifetimes, and a third or more of those report that pain affects their sex lives, says Natalie Sidorkewitz, a doctoral student at the University of Waterloo's Spine Biomechanics Laboratory and lead author of a new study that takes a look at how men's...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Nathan CollinsMon, 15 Sep 2014 09:25:00 -0400