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Medical errors are No. 3 cause of death in the US, after heart disease and cancer

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Heart disease, cancer ... and medical errors?

A new tally of mistakes made in American hospitals suggests that medical errors are the No. 3 cause of death in the U.S. At least 250,000 deaths each year can be attributed to medical care that has gone awry, according to a report published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal.

That means deadly ...Read more

Pediatric researchers suggest potential dangers for children from cellphone exposure

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BALTIMORE--Doctors and scientists from Harvard and Yale medical schools warned Tuesday that pregnant mothers limit their unborn babies exposure to potentially harmful radiation by keeping cellphones away from their tummies because of the possible effect on brain development.

The doctors offered the advice during the Pediatric Academic Societies...Read more

These diet changes may reduce risk of colon cancer

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Can changing your diet reduce your risk of colorectal cancer?

Dr. Scott Strong, surgical director of Northwestern Medicine's Digestive Health Center, said it certainly can't hurt.

Some simple changes such as increasing your fiber intake and reducing your consumption of red meat might reduce your risk factor.

"We know without question that ...Read more

Zika virus linked to previous outbreaks in Haiti

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Two months after Haiti confirmed it was having an outbreak of the painful mosquito-borne virus chikungunya in 2014, Haitians began complaining about a new fever epidemic and wondered whether it was Zik or Zika, the other virus carried by the same mosquito.

Haiti health officials and experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and ...Read more

Spring into better health: the freezer edition

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"Thinking about what is in the bottom of your freezer and what year it was frozen can be overwhelming," says Amanda Leisenheimer, registered dietitian at Mayo Clinic Health System. "While freezing foods helps prolong the shelf life, frozen food can still expire. It's important to go through your freezer at least once a year and throw away any ...Read more

The pesky facts about bedbugs

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A recent study found that bedbugs, like some other insects, have distinct color preferences. Researchers discovered bedbugs are drawn to red and black and repelled by green and yellow.

Mayo Clinic parasitologist Dr. Bobbi Pritt calls the data interesting; adding, it's always good to learn about pests that can infest human habitats. She says ...Read more

Democrats increasingly want expansion of health law, poll finds

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When Democrats fault the Affordable Care Act, it's increasingly because it does not go far enough, a poll released Thursday shows.

The results come as Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has repeatedly derided the law for including too many concessions to the private health care industry and costing consumers too much.

The Kaiser ...Read more

Spring into better health: refrigerator edition

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Oftentimes, food items can expire in the refrigerator or may get stuck in the far back corner, resulting in forgotten, potentially expired items. Sometimes, food spills and sticks cause refrigerators to look more like a science project than a storage place for food.

"First, throw away any food that may be questionable. Most canned items have an...Read more

Medi-Cal will soon cover children in the US illegally. The real battle? Getting adults insured

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LOS ANGELES -- Ever since Obamacare took effect two years ago, many California legislators have been fighting to get health insurance for those it left out -- the quarter of all immigrants in the country illegally who live within the state's borders.

This month, California will make a sizable dent in that effort when immigrants younger than 19 ...Read more

Spring into better health: the pantry edition

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With spring often comes spring cleaning. You may have a chance to clean your house inside and out.

However, what about your pantry? How often do you clean your pantry? If you're trying to lose weight or adopt a healthy lifestyle, consider these questions.

"There are many reasons to consider cleaning out your pantry," says Amanda Leisenheimer, ...Read more

UnitedHealthcare's departure from marketplaces could impact consumers' costs, access

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UnitedHealthcare's decision to quit insurance exchanges in about 30 states next year has patient advocates concerned that fewer options could force consumers to pay more for coverage and have a smaller choice of network providers.

The company's departure could be felt most acutely in several counties in Florida, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Carolina...Read more

Thousands leave Maryland prisons with risky health problems but no coverage

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BALTIMORE -- Stacey McHoul left jail last summer with a history of heroin use and depression and only a few days of medicine to treat them. When the pills ran out she started thinking about hurting herself.

"Once the meds start coming out of my system, in the past, it's always caused me to relapse," she said. "I start self-medicating and trying...Read more

Cancer immunotherapy finds success in study of leukemia patients

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SEATTLE -- Leukemia patients out of options and given just months to live have achieved sustained remissions thanks to a new twist on cancer immunotherapy, according to a highly anticipated study from scientists at Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Experts at Fred Hutchinson refined an experimental technique that genetically ...Read more

OTC allergy medications may not be best treatment option

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Dear Mayo Clinic: Are over-the-counter allergy medications safe to take year-round? I've been taking them for a couple of years, and they seem to help. Are there any other allergy treatments I should think about using instead?

A: Allergy medications that you can buy without a prescription are considered relatively safe and can be taken on a ...Read more

Can an aspirin a day keep heart attacks at bay?

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Minnesota doctors welcomed recent federal health guidelines on daily use of low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

The new advice -- which spells out by age and risk who is likely to benefit from taking an 81 milligram-pill a day -- is clear and helpful, many doctors say.

"We've had a lot of patients who decided for whatever ...Read more

Can fixed payments transform the health care industry?

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MADISON, Wis. -- Two items stood out when employees of UnityPoint Health-Meriter first saw the total cost of knee and hip replacement surgery for its Medicare patients.

One was that some physicians sent patients to nursing homes after surgery much more often than others -- at a cost of $550 to $600 a day, a decision that costs roughly four ...Read more

Spinal manipulation techniques differ among practitioners

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Dear Mayo Clinic: What happens during a spinal adjustment? Can professionals other than chiropractors safely do spinal adjustments?

Chiropractors commonly perform spinal adjustments, also known as spinal manipulation. But, osteopathic doctors, physical therapists and medical doctors may provide the service, as well.

Specific techniques may ...Read more

Why drinking water with lemon is good for you

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If you're looking for a morning health boost and can't stand the taste of apple cider vinegar, try hot water with lemon.

Health experts say the acidity of the lemons improves digestion.

Lemons contain potent antioxidants, which can also protect against disease, says Dr. Jonny Bowden, a nutritionist and health author.

"It's very alkalizing for...Read more

UnitedHealth Group forecasts exchange pullback

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MINNEAPOLIS -- UnitedHealth Group will operate only in a "handful" of new health insurance exchanges in 2017, the company's chief executive said Tuesday, down from more than 30 states this year.

In November, the nation's largest health insurer, based in suburban Minneapolis, said it was reviewing the new exchange business due to financial ...Read more

Women's wellness: menopausal symptoms and nonhormonal therapy

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Q: Is there anything that can be done for menopausal symptoms that doesn't include taking hormones? I've had breast cancer in the past so am unable to take hormones, but I wake up nearly every night because of night sweats and have occasional hot flashes during the day.

A: There are options for managing night sweats and hot flashes that do not ...Read more