The Most Googled Health Questions of 2015

Many of us search the Internet when we need a quick answer to a health question, and each year Google analyzes the most common health queries, both in this country and globally. Our top burning health questions in the U.S. this year, according to Google, showed Americans were worried about catching bronchitis and pneumonia, as well as wondering how many glasses of water they should drink and how many calories they should eat each day, Health reported. Globally, people were most …

Report Shows Americans Getting (a Little) Healthier

A new report shows Americans are getting better at smoking less, exercising more and reducing deaths from heart disease, but the past year has also brought an alarming rise in the rate of drug deaths, obesity and diabetes. The 26th annual America’s Health Rankings by the United Health Foundation found a 4 percent jump in drug-related deaths, both from illegal and prescription drug abuse, and an obesity rate that has more than doubled in the past 15 years. Get discounts …

Say Again, Santa? Some Holiday Lipreading Advice

Santa Claus may be the hardest person on earth to lipread — or, more properly, speech read. He is, in fact, a speech reader’s nightmare, thanks to the big, fuzzy beard and mustache that obscure his lips, the tight, padded suit that restricts his movement, and his crinkly, barely visible eyes — all things that keep us from effectively reading his lips, face and body to figure out what he’s saying. That’s because speech reading involves all these visual clues gleaned …

Drink Up: Coffee, Chamomile Tea Could Help You Live Longer

This week was great. First, I got to start the morning with a big mug of coffee while reading about a new study linking a big mug of coffee (or three) to a longer life. And then, at night, I sipped a cup of chamomile tea and read about a recent study suggesting that this relaxing herbal brew can help older women live longer. Isn’t research wonderful when it supports what you already like to do? So first, the coffee: …

New Lower Blood Pressure Goal: Is It for You?

For older adults with high blood pressure, experts have been arguing for more than a year about how low the optimal BP reading should go. Should patients age 50-plus aim for a systolic level (the higher number in the reading) of 140 to 150, as a panel of experts recommended in 2013? Or should they use extra medication to aggressively lower it to 120, as a major federal study of adults urged in September? That September announcement included the startling …

The Despair That’s Killing White, Middle-Aged Americans

For decades, the death rate among all groups of Americans has been steadily declining, thanks to advances in medicine and quality of life. But 15 years ago, that trend suddenly reversed for one group: white Americans ages 45 to 54. In what a new study termed “an epidemic of despair,” two Princeton economists find that suicide, alcoholism and drug abuse are driving up deaths among less-educated, middle-aged, white Americans — some of it due to job loss and financial woes. The number …