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Health News Results - 128

The coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have prompted some Americans to take a break from social media, new research finds.

The national survey by Ohio State Wexner Medical Center of 2,000 people found that 56% changed their social media habits because of tensions brought on by current U.S. events.

While 29% said their social media use increase...

Telemedicine has exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the United States on track to log more than 1 billion virtual doctor visits by the end of 2020, experts say.

But how important will telemedicine remain to U.S. health care after the pandemic becomes just a bad memory?

These sort of technology-based visits are expected to assume a permanent place moving forward, sai...

The COVID-19 pandemic is shaking up America's approach to addiction treatment, but the fallout hasn't been all bad, experts say.

In-person support meetings either aren't happening or have been severely curtailed, and addiction centers are facing financial ruin because folks are too afraid of the coronavirus to seek treatment.

But paradoxically, people might have better acces...

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, nearly 50% of Americans have used technology to communicate with their doctors, a new study finds.

But less than one-quarter have talked with their doctors about using health information technology, the researchers found.

"The results of our statewide survey indicate patients are using health information technology," said researche...

More than 2 million Americans buy prescription drugs from other countries as a way around rising prices in the United States, a new study finds.

The analysis of nationwide survey data showed that 1.5% of adults got their prescription meds from outside the United States between 2015 and 2017.

Immigrants and people who were older or who had inadequate health insurance cov...

If you have diabetes and live in rural America, the closest specialist may be hours away. But new research shows that effective help may be as close as your phone.

The study found that a six-month telehealth program led to a significant drop in blood sugar levels. Participants had an average A1C level of 9.25% at the study's start and an average of 7.89% at the end. That bene...

Although many people can lose weight, few maintain the loss. Could individual telephone support be the key to keeping extra pounds at bay?

New research suggests that telehealth counseling after weight loss may be just the support that people in rural areas need to maintain their weight loss long-term. At the 12-month point in the study, people who had individual telephone counseling ...

Streaks of color swirl through a pulsing, black-and-white image of a patient's heart. They represent blood, and they're color-coded based on speed: turquoise and green for the fastest flow, yellow and red for the slowest.

This real-time video, which can be rotated and viewed from any angle, allows doctors to spot problems like a leaky heart valve or a failing surgical repair with unpr...

Bright yellow and looking like a headless deer, Spot can travel across ground too risky for humans. "Built for dirt and danger," in the words of its maker Boston Dynamics, this robot is now helping humans battle a different threat: the spread of coronavirus.

Equipped with an iPad and two-way radio, Spot has been making the rounds at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston since April. ...

Preschoolers may spend more time on smartphones or tablets than their parents realize, and some use apps intended for teens and adults, researchers report.

A new study tracked mobile device use among 350 children aged 3 to 5 over nine months and compared their findings with parents' estimates of their use.

Preschoolers with their own smartphones or tablets averaged two hours...

Many people under stay-at-home orders have turned to online yoga as a way to manage the stress. And a new research review suggests they're onto something.

The review, of 19 clinical trials, focused on the benefits of yoga for people with clinical mental health conditions ranging from anxiety disorders to alcohol dependence to schizophrenia. Overall, it found yoga classes helped ease t...

In a finding that illustrates how distracted driving laws are saving lives, researchers report that car crash deaths among teens plunged by one-third during a period when the number of U.S. states with such laws on the books tripled.

"We found that states which had primary enforced distracted driving laws had lower fatal crashes involving 16- to 19-year-old drivers and passengers," sa...

More than one-quarter of popular English-language COVID-19 information videos posted to YouTube are misleading, researchers warn.

There are posts, for example, falsely claiming that drug companies already have a cure for COVID-19, but won't sell it, and that different countries have stronger strains of coronavirus, a new study finds.

YouTube viewers "should be skeptical, us...

Groups that spread vaccine misinformation on social media have more impact than government health agencies and other expert organizations on undecided people, a new study finds.

The spread of false information could have significant public health consequences if an effective COVID-19 vaccine is developed, the researchers noted.

For the study, investigators developed an innov...

The coronavirus pandemic has led many older adults to postpone medical care, a new survey finds.

The University of Chicago survey found that 55% of U.S. adults aged 70 and older experienced a disruption in their medical care during the first month of social distancing.

Thirty-nine percent put off non-essential care and 32% delayed primary or preventive care since s...

Today's youngsters are as socially skilled as previous generations, despite concerns about their heavy use of technology, like smartphones and social media, new research shows.

The researchers compared teacher and parent evaluations of more than 19,000 U.S. children who started kindergarten in 1998 -- six years before Facebook appeared -- with more than 13,000 who began school in 2010...

An analysis of Twitter data suggests that Americans are heeding social distancing and other safety recommendations during the coronavirus pandemic, researchers say.

Officials have told people to limit travel, stay home and distance themselves to slow the spread of the virus.

"The question though is how effective are these policies? Once you tell people to stay home, it doesn...

Your smartphone could help stem the spread of coronavirus, British researchers claim.

How? Their proposal for an app would record other app users who had recently been in close proximity. If a user became infected, he or she would update their status on their smartphone app, which would instantly and anonymously contact those app users who had been near the infected person.

...

In the best of times, it can be hard to get mental health treatment. But these definitely aren't the best of times, and even for people who have established relationships with mental health professionals, the coronavirus pandemic is making it harder to find the right care.

The good news is that insurance companies are often reimbursing for telehealth behavioral health services now (e...

If you feel like the news about coronavirus is growing worse by the hour, then it might be time to take stock: How much do you really need to know?

As the pandemic unfolds, and people routinely wake up to uncertainty, it is necessary to stay informed, psychologists say.

At the same time, they caution, remember that media overload is real. And it may raise anxiety to a level...

Recovering alcoholic Catherine Collins normally attends five to seven face-to-face program meetings a week.

Collins still attends meetings, but now they're online -- and there's something important that's missing.

"In the real world, you're in a room full of people who have the exact same feelings. If I said 'I'm really struggling and I feel like picking up a drink,' people ...

Technology can help you maintain social connections if you're staying home during the coronavirus pandemic, an expert says.

"When using technology to stay connected, prioritize keeping deeper, meaningful connections with people," said Stephen Benning, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Benning suggests using Skype or other video mes...

With bogus information about the new coronavirus spreading fast online, how can you separate fact from fiction?

A communications expert at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg said identifying reliable and useful sources of information is key. Here's her advice:

"Be skeptical of social media posts about the COVID-19 virus, even those that have the superficial look of news items, and...

Everyone is glued to some sort of media these days, but for young kids, that screen time could delay or limit their language skills, a new research review suggests.

"Our findings are really consistent with the guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP], and the bottom line is that kids should use screens in moderation and parents should try to prioritize using screens t...

Social media is rife with misinformation about the safety of vaccines, according to a new study.

Lead researcher Lucy Elkin's team found that false claims about vaccines are readily available on Google, Facebook and YouTube despite efforts to control access to misinformation through computer programming and policy changes.

Elkin is a doctoral candidate in the Department o...

As U.S. states and cities scramble to contain the new coronavirus by restricting public gatherings, hospitals are increasingly using remote medical care to battle the outbreak.

On Tuesday, Medicare administrator Seema Verma announced at a White House press briefing that the agency would greatly expand its coverage for telemedicine nationwide, the Associated Press reported.

...

If you have raging headaches and you spend a lot of time on your smartphone, a new study suggests you might want to put your phone down whenever you can.

Researchers found that folks who use their smartphones frequently and have headaches or migraines also tend to need to take more medications than those with headaches who do not have smartphones.

Of course, this study can't...

Rave online reviews about a hospital stay may not mean much about the actual medical care there, if a new study is any indication.

Researchers found that across U.S. hospitals, patient-satisfaction scores were more dependent on "hospitality" factors -- like friendly nurses, quiet rooms and good food -- than on hard measures of health care quality.

Here's a good reason to put your electronic devices down whenever you can: Experts say that using them incorrectly or too often can put you at risk for a range of injuries.

"When people position their hand, arm or neck in uncomfortable positions for a prolonged period of time, it can lead to strains and overuse injuries," said Dr. Michael Darowish, an orthopedic surgeon at Penn State ...

Nearly 1 in 5 American adults has mistaken beliefs about vaccines, and misinformation is more common among those who rely on social media than on traditional media, a new study finds.

Researchers surveyed nearly 2,500 adults nationwide in the spring and fall of 2019, when the United States was dealing with its largest measles outbreak in decades, and found that up to 20% of respon...

Many U.S. teenagers may be using their smartphones to harass, humiliate or otherwise abuse their dating partners.

That's according to a recent national survey of teens who'd been in a romantic relationship in the past year. Researchers found that 28% had been victims of "digital dating abuse" -- surprisingly, with boys being targets more often than girls.

While teen dati...

For better or worse, your social media friends might be influencing your eating habits, British researchers report.

They asked nearly 400 college students to estimate how much fruit, veggies, snacks and sugary drinks their Facebook friends ate each day.

Those participants who believed their social media buddies ate the recommended five daily portions of fruits and vegetables...

Cyberbullying can worsen symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in young people, new research shows.

That's the conclusion of a recent survey of 50 teens who were inpatients at a suburban psychiatric hospital near New York City. Researchers reported that those who had been bullied had higher severity of PTSD and anger than those who were not bullied.

"Even...

Virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri are little help for people seeking information about how to quit drinking, smoking, vaping or taking opioids, a new study finds.

"Alexa can already fart on demand, why can't it and other intelligent virtual assistants also provide lifesaving substance use treatment referrals for those desperately seeking help? Many of these same people likely hav...

Could that nasty online review you wrote about your neighborhood restaurant help the local health inspector do a better job?

Yes, according to researchers who found that such reviews may help monitor a restaurant's cleanliness between health inspections.

Because local health departments have to deal with so many restaurants -- for example, there are 20,000 restaurants in Ne...

From carpal tunnel to a stiff neck, too much time on the computer can cause a slew of health problems. But what if you ditch the keyboard and mouse for virtual reality?

New research from Oregon State University in Corvallis showed that even stepping into virtual reality may be bad for the body.

Virtual reality isn't just for playing games. It's also used for education and in...

Most older Americans don't fully rely on or trust online ratings of doctors, a new study finds.

Among men and women between the ages of 50 and 80, only 43% have looked online to see how patients rated a doctor, researchers report.

Of these, two-thirds chose a doctor because of good online ratings and reviews, according to the National Poll on Healthy Aging, conducted b...

A lot of the dope you read online about the benefits of marijiuana is just hooey, but it can influence attitudes and actions, researchers say.

Looking at tens of thousands of pot-related posts on Twitter, researchers saw a lot of bogus health claims that they fear may drown out solid science.

"These misleading messages are pervasive online," said researcher Jon-Patrick Alle...

The holidays are peak buying time, and perhaps the worst time of the year for people who simply can't control their urge to shop.

Now, research shows that the ease of online purchasing could be making things worse for people with so-called "buying-shopping disorder" (BSD).

BSD is still debated as a stand-alone diagnosis, and hasn't yet been included in the psychologists' bib...

Smartphones, tablets and laptops are everywhere, and young children are fascinated by them. Now, new research suggests that parents might be able to harness that curiosity and use apps on the devices to boost early learning.

The review found that apps could be particularly useful for teaching early math and language skills.

"Screen time is here,...

The number of Americans who have a primary care doctor is shrinking -- with potential consequences for their health, researchers say.

Their new study found that in 2015, an estimated 75% of Americans had a primary care provider -- down from 77% in 2002. The declines were most pronounced among people under 60: For Americans in their 30s, for example, the figure dropped from 71&...

If you have a neurological disorder, a video chat with your doctor might be as good as an office visit for checking on your condition.

That's the conclusion of researchers who analyzed 101 studies on telemedicine use for concussion, traumatic brain injury, dementia, epilepsy, headache, multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, neuromuscular conditions and general neurology.

In...

The more often young teens turn to social media, the more prone they are to eating disorders, new research suggests.

While the study does not prove social media use causes eating disorders, it raises a red flag, said study author Simon Wilksch. He's a senior research fellow in psychology at Flinders University, in South Australia.

The study looked at close to 1,000 middle sc...

Even infants are now watching screens, and as they grow so does the time they spend doing it, two new studies show.

In fact, watching TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets or electronic games occupies about an hour a day of an infant's time and increases to more than 150 minutes by age 3. That's way beyond what's recommended, the researchers said.

"Since screen-time exposure ...

More Americans are having trouble falling and staying asleep, and smartphones and technology are probably to blame, researchers report.

Their analysis of data from nearly 165,000 adults nationwide showed that the number who reported difficulty falling asleep at least once a week was up 1.4% between 2013 and 2017, and those who had trouble staying asleep rose 2.7%.

Th...

Toddlers who spend loads of time looking at tablets, smartphones or TVs may be changing their brains, and not for the better.

A new study using brain scans showed that the white matter in the brains of children who spent hours in front of screens wasn't developing as fast as it was in the brains of kids who didn't.

It's in the white matter of the brain where language, ot...

The HIV test came back positive and the patient, full of fear and denial, took to the STD forum on the popular social media site Reddit.

"I'm really scared because they said my results showed 'HIV-1 Confirmation.' I have to go back and get another test but I'm wondering is the doc wrong, do you think I have HIV?" the person wrote.

People worried that they have a sexually transm...

Analyzing people's tweets could reveal if they're lonely, researchers say.

Loneliness -- which has been linked with depression, heart disease, dementia and other health problems -- affects about 1 in 5 adults in the United States.

Researchers analyzed public accounts of Twitter users in Pennsylvania and identified more than 6,200 who used words like "lonely" or "alone" more ...

Surprisingly, we're still on a learning curve when it comes to the availability of electronic health records, the digital way to access what used to be paper-only files.

You have a legal right to records held by doctors, hospitals and other providers. But many people don't know how to get them -- or even that they can. Others find it onerous that their doctors aren't in the same medi...

Daily exposure to blue light from sources such as smartphones, computers and household fixtures could speed your aging, even if it doesn't reach your eyes, research in animals suggests.

Blue wavelengths produced by light-emitting diodes (LEDs) may damage cells in your brain as well as your retinas, according to the Oregon State University researchers.

Their study of fruit fl...