Stress, sadness really can break your heart

(Kathleen Doheny/ WebMD) — The loss of a spouse. The loss of a pet. Researchers have confirmed in recent years what people long suspected: Extreme stress can literally break your heart. And as they learn more about the relatively rare condition, they are finding that it’s not only caused by the loss of a loved one. […]

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The vast majority of people fib to the doctor. Why?

(Nardy Baeza Bickel-Michigan/ Futurity) — Between 60 and 80 percent of people surveyed have not been forthcoming with their doctors about information that could be relevant to their health, according to a new study. Besides fibbing about diet and exercise, more than a third of respondents didn’t speak up when they disagreed with their doctor’s […]

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Once you lack folate, the damage can’t be fixed

(Cecilie Krabbe-Copenhagen/ Futurity) — Folate deficiency creates more problems in connection with cell division and DNA replication than previously thought, a study shows. Once a person lacks folate, the resulting damage is irreversible. The researchers therefore encourage people to be more aware of the level of folate in the blood. Folate is a type of vitamin […]

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Smoking, diabetes extra risky for women’s hearts

(Robert Preidt/ HealthDay) — Smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure: all bad for the heart, but perhaps worse for women’s hearts than men’s, new research shows. Looking at data on 472,000 Britons ages 40 to 69, researchers found that all three of these heart disease risk factors increased the odds of heart attack for both sexes. But […]

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What to know about common thyroid disorders

(Tim Huzar/ Medical News Today) — The thyroid is a small gland that helps regulate a person’s metabolism by producing hormones. Problems can occur if the thyroid overproduces hormones, when it is known as hyperthyroidism, or underproduces hormones, which is called hypothyroidism. These issues may also result in the growth of the thyroid, which is called […]

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More Canadian clinics are offering unproven stem cell therapies, study finds

(Canadian Press) — Dozens of unlicensed clinics offering stem cell treatments for a wide variety of medical conditions have sprung up in Canada, marketing their services through direct-to-consumer online advertising, a study has found. Canadian-born researcher Leigh Turner, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota’s Centre for Bioethics, identified 30 businesses marketing stem cell therapies […]

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There’s a promising new way to treat appendicitis that doesn’t involve surgery

(Lindsey Tanner/Associated Press) — When emergency tests showed the telltale right-sided pain in Heather VanDusen’s abdomen was appendicitis, she figured she’d be quickly wheeled into surgery. But doctors offered her the option of antibiotics instead. A new study from Finland shows her choice is a reasonable alternative for most patients with appendicitis. Five years after treatment […]

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Privacy experts say choosing life insurance tied to fitness tracking could have unintended consequences

(CBC News) — Privacy experts say they’re concerned life-insurance programs that reward customers for behaviours like logging their activity using a fitness tracker could have unintended consequences for the safety of their personal data. Insurance giant John Hancock, owned by Canadian company Manulife Financial Corp., announced Thursday a switch to “interactive” life-insurance policies only, which […]

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All John Hancock life insurance policies to include fitness incentives

U.S. division of Canadian firm Manulife will scrap traditional insurance in favour of interactive policies (Thomson Reuters) — John Hancock, one of the oldest and largest North American life insurers, will stop underwriting traditional life insurance and instead sell only interactive policies that include optional fitness tracking through tools including wearable devices and smartphones, the company […]

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Almost all Canadians would benefit from palliative care. Only one in seven can actually access it at end-of-life

(André Picard/ Globe and Mail) — An estimated 89 per cent of Canadians could benefit from palliative care in the last year of life. But only 15 per cent are actually getting it. That’s a pretty damning commentary on the state of end-of-life care in this country, and it only tells part of the story. The […]

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