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1 in 8 Older Americans May Be 'Junk Food Addicts,' Poll Finds

It may be that as many as 13% of older adults are addicted to highly processed comfort foods, a new survey finds.

Craving cookies, chips, packaged snacks and soda was seen in adults aged 50 to 80, according to new data from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, from the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

Women had higher numbers of addiction to thes...

Fear of Public Spaces Is Common in People With Epilepsy

Many adults with epilepsy have agoraphobia, or a fear of public places, new research suggests.

That impacts quality of life and is something doctors should include in other screening that looks for anxiety or depression, the investigators said.

"We know that agoraphobia can lead to delays in patient care because of a reluctance to go out in public, which includes appointments with ...

1 in 3 U.S. Public Health Workers Feels Threatened During Pandemic

One-third of public health workers have endured threats, anger and aggression from the public during the pandemic, and that has come at a steep cost to their mental health, a new study finds.

“The negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers have been documented and the research on psychological impacts is building,” said lead study author

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 25, 2023
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  • In New Documentary, Michael J. Fox Describes Hiding Parkinson's, Struggles With Alcohol

    Actor Michael J. Fox details his experiences with Parkinson’s disease, including turning to alcohol and pills in an attempt to cope, in a new documentary.

    Fox, 61, has had the degenerative brain disorder since 1991, but didn’t disclose it publicly until 1998.

    The star — best known for the “Back to the Future” movies — said he was an alcoholic in the early days and also...

    Why Midlife Can Bring Risk of New Eating Disorders

    Most people think of eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia as afflictions of teenagers, but a new study finds that older women are also vulnerable to developing them, especially around menopause.

    The main driver of eating disorders in older women? Body dissatisfaction, the researchers found.

    When researchers looked at eating disorder symptoms among 36 women aged 45 to 61...

    Be Realistic: It's Key to Achieving Those New Year's Resolutions

    The key to keeping those New Year’s resolutions from fading out by February: Make sure you've set achievable goals.

    Resolutions are often lifestyle changes and those are best managed when the goal is something attainable, according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

    "Resolutions and lifestyle changes are very similar. When we think about lifestyle changes, it...

    ADHD Tied to Higher Rates of Anxiety, Depression

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be an even bigger predictor of depression and anxiety in adulthood than autism is, a new study finds — highlighting the mental health side of the disorder.

    It's known that kids and adults with ADHD often have co-existing conditions, including depression and anxiety. Research suggests that about 14% of children with ADHD have depression...

    Hormonal Therapies Are Boosting the Mental Health of Trans Youth

    As numerous U.S. states move to restrict transgender health care, a new study shows that such care can substantially improve teenagers' mental health.

    The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, followed transgender and nonbinary teenagers who received "gender-affirming" hormones -- either estrogen or testosterone -- for two years.

    During that time, researc...

    Political News Takes Mental Toll, But Is Disengaging the Answer?

    In today's highly polarized political environment, is it possible to stay up-to-date with the news of the day without getting totally stressed out?

    If not, is there a way to limit the emotional and physical fallout? Or is all that individual stress in service of a greater societal good?

    New research paints a complex picture with no easy answers.

    On the one hand, paying cl...

    In Tibetan Monk Study, Hints That Meditating Can Alter Gut Microbes

    Meditation might help a person’s gut health — but it takes a lot of meditation over a long time.

    Tibetan Buddhist monks appear to have gut microbes that differ substantially from others living near them, a new study reports.

    Those differences have previously been linked to a lower...

    Young Americans Still Want Same Number of Kids, Just Not Right Now

    When birth rates fall in the United States, experts try to figure out what’s happening.

    The fertility rate is at its lowest since the 1970s -- 1.71 per woman, according to a new study.

    But it's not that young people today don't want children, new research suggests. In fac...

    Acts of Kindness Could Be Natural Antidepressants

    People suffering from depression or anxiety may be able to help themselves by helping others -- even in small ways, researchers report.

    In a recent study of 122 people with depression or anxiety symptoms, those who started fitting small acts of kindness into their day showed an improvement in their symptoms.

    And when it came to boosting feelings of social connectedness, those kind g...

    Most Clergy Agree With Science on Treatment of Depression: Study

    Worries that clergy will urge depressed congregants to rely on prayer and not other mental health care appear to be unfounded.

    A nationwide survey found that 90% of clergy members embraced a medical understanding of the causes and treatment of depression. About 10% said they would recomm...

    Sleep Key to Good Mental Health for Older Women

    Older women who don’t stick to a set sleep and wake schedule may be more likely to struggle with feelings of depression and anxiety — even if they get a normal amount of zzzs.

    What’s more, a postmenopausal woman who goes to bed very early and wakes up very early (an “early bird”) or goes to bed late and wakes up later (a “night owl”) is 70% more likely to experience signific...

    Suicidal Service Members With Guns at Home Often Keep Feelings Secret: Study

    Military service members who conceal their suicidal thoughts are also more likely to store their guns unsafely, a new study reveals.

    “These findings highlight a real problem with our suicide prevention system,” said Michael Anestis, lead author of the study and...

    Good Parental Leave Gives Big Boost to Moms' Mental Health

    Generous parental leave policies at work can do wonders for a new mom's mental health.

    This is among the key messages from a new review of 45 studies examining how parental leave policies affect mom and dad’s mental health and well-being.

    Mothers working for companies with generous parental leave policies were less likely to experience symptoms of depression, poor mental heal...

    Procrastinators May Delay All the Way to Worse Health

    College students who routinely cram at the last minute may not only see their grades suffer, but their health, too, a new study suggests.

    Researchers found that of more than 3,500 college students they followed, those who scored high on a procrastination scale were more likely to report certain health issues nine months later. The list included body aches, poor sleep, and depression and a...

    What Are Quit-Smoking Programs and How Can They Help You?

    Sometimes it really does "take a village" to help you meet life's challenges, and quitting smoking can be one of the toughest challenges out there.

    That's why specially designed smoking-cessation programs can make all the difference, experts say.

    Many programs employ a combination approach, one that treats the physical and the psychological addictions you're trying to brea...

    Frequent Social Media Checks May Affect Young Brains

    Social media's impact on young people is a hot topic, with most kids and teens wanting to do whatever their friends are doing and parents worrying about setting limits.

    A new study examines whether frequent checking of social media sites (Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat) is associated with changes in functional brain development in these early adolescents, about age 12.

    Using brain...

    New Year's Resolutions: What's the Best Way to Make — and Keep — Them?

    New Year's resolutions can be a fickle thing.

    They are a time-honored way to promise improvements to yourself and your behavior, a “fresh start” to the new year.

    But if chosen poorly, a resolution also can be a source of anxiety, disappointment and hopelessness.

    “They tap into the abiding American spirit of relentless self-improvement, and that can be so relentless that ...

    One Gender May Excel at Reading What Others Are Feeling

    A new study confirms what many believe: Women tend to be better than men at imagining or understanding what another person is feeling or thinking.

    Using a test that measures empathy, researchers evaluated more than 300,000 people in 57 countries around the world to come to that conclusion.

    “Our results provide some of the first evidence that the well-known phenomenon — that fem...

    Broken Hearts: Loneliness Could Raise Danger From Cardiovascular Disease

    For people with heart disease, new research suggests loneliness, social isolation and living alone can shave years off your life.

    This trio puts people with established cardiovascular disease at greater risk of premature death, according to the international study. Cardiovascular disease refers to heart disease and stroke.

    "Social health factors such as loneliness and social isolat...

    Stress Can Help Bring on a Stroke, Study Shows

    Stress is rarely a good thing for your health, but new research warns that it significantly raises the risk of a stroke.

    The study found that increased stress at home or work and recent stressful life events — like getting divorced or a major family conflict — were associated both with increased risk of stroke due to a clot, known as an ischemic stroke, and a stroke due to bleeding in...

    Anger Management Treatment Via the Internet Shows Promise

    Swedish researchers studying anger say it appears there is a pent-up need for anger management and that an internet-based treatment can work.

    Scientists from the Centre for Psychiatry Research at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, had to close its recruitment site after a few weeks because there was so much demand for help with anger issues.

    "It is usually very difficul...

    Women's Depression Symptoms May  Differ by Race: Study

    Depression can be tricky to detect in some people, and Black women may exhibit different symptoms, leading to missed care, researchers say.

    Black women report sleep disturbances, self-criticism and irritability more often than the stereotypical low mood, according to a new study.

    As a result, standard screening tools may underdiagnose depression in Black women, the study authors sai...

    Can Too Much Screen Time Raise a Child's Odds for OCD?

    Preteens who spend much of their free time watching online videos or playing video games may have a heightened risk of developing obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), a new study suggests.

    Researchers found that among 9,200 9- and 10-year-olds they assessed, the odds of developing OCD inched up ...

    Mood Swings, Memory Troubles: Minding the Mental Toll of Menopause

    Menopause and the years before it may make you feel like you're losing your mind.

    Some of those feelings are changes that occur naturally in this stage of life, but other factors contribute, too, according to the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), which offered tips to achieve some peace.

    Changes in hormones are...

    Adult Children Far More Likely to Be Estranged From Dad Than Mom

    Many young U.S. adults are estranged from their parents, at least temporarily -- with the father/child bond being especially fragile.

    Those are among the findings of a new national study that tracked thousands of parent-child relationships from the 1990s to recent years.

    Researchers found that one-quarter of young adults were estranged from their fathers at some point -- four times ...

    People in Open Relationships Face Stigma, Research Shows

    Even though roughly 1 in 5 Americans has been involved in an “open” relationship at some point in their lives, new research cautions that many end up bearing the brunt of stigmatizing and stressful disapproval.

    The finding stems from a pair of fresh investigations: The first found that roughly 40% of men and women who participate in “consensually non-monogamous” relations rep...

    'Holiday Heart':  Heart Attacks Spike in Last 2 Weeks of December

    The holiday season is filled with to-do lists, but one should rise to the top: Take care of your heart.

    Whether from stress, cold weather or falling out of good habits in terms of eating, sleeping and drinking, heart attack rates spike as much as 40% between Christmas and New Year's, according to cardiologist

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • December 19, 2022
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  • Final Exams Don't Have to Be High Stress for Your Teen

    Final exams are stressful for students, but it is possible to ratchet down the pressure with some planning and self-compassion.

    A psychologist from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston offers a few suggestions for helping teens manage the pressure.

    Start with the basics, including making sure the teen is getting sufficient sleep, eating nutritiously without skipping meals and main...

    Holidays Got You Stressed? Try These Calming Tips

    This season of celebrating also comes with lots of stress for many people.

    But despite the long to-do list and mandatory get-togethers, it is possible to maintain a healthy mind, according to experts at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

    “Stress is an inevitable part of life and so the first thing people can do is focus on their wellness, which is really about accepting t...

    Most People With COPD Enjoy Good Mental Health: Study

    Surprisingly, most people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are in excellent mental health, Canadian researchers report.

    Two-thirds of COPD patients don't suffer from common mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or addiction to drugs, the new study found. The key to well-being seems to be having the support of loved ones and not being isolated or lonel...

    After Angioplasty, Depression Can Keep Heart Patients From Taking Meds

    Patients who undergo angioplasty and stenting to open clogged arteries in and around the heart should also be screened for depression, according to a new study.

    Researchers found that depressed patients were less likely than their mentally healthy peers to take their prescribed medications, including beta-blockers, antiplatelets and statins.

    These medications reduce the likelihood...

    Myth That Suicides Peak During the Holidays Could Cause Harm

    Many Americans believe that suicide rates spike every time the holiday season comes around. There's just one catch: It's not true.

    Yet, a new analysis reveals that 56% of stories published last year in U.S. newspapers that touched on a potential connection between the holidays ...

    Minor Facial Scars Don't Affect Others' First Impressions, Study Finds

    A facial scar may make a person self-conscious, but it doesn't change another person's first impressions of their attractiveness or confidence, a new survey shows.

    The results found that a single, well-healed facial scar may even increase perceived friendliness, according to the researchers, who had predicted different results and said the findings might be "surprising and perhaps welcome...

    Could Bacteria in Your Gut Help Spur Depression?

    Depression may be a disorder of the brain, but new research adds to evidence that it also involves the gut.

    While depression is complex, recent research has been pointing to a role for bacteria that dwell in the gut -- suggesting that certain bacterial strains might feed depression symptoms, while others might be protective.

    In a pair of new studies, researchers identified 13 g...

    'COVID-somnia' May Be Easing as Americans Report Better Sleep

    Finally, more than two years into the pandemic, Americans are sleeping better.

    A new survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) found that 31% of people have had insomnia since the pandemic began. That was much lower — a 25% decrease — compared to the...

    For Kids, Mental Trauma From Gun Injury Far Exceeds That of Car Crashes

    Firearm injuries traumatize children, saddling them with mental health issues that include stress disorders and drug or alcohol use, according to a new study.

    In all, 35% of kids injured by firearms receive a new mental health diagnosis in the following year, the

    988 Mental Health Hotline Back in Business After Daylong Outage

    A national hotline that people can call in a mental health emergency went down for a day before it was restored late Thursday.

    Those in crisis could still reach counselors by texting 988 or visiting 988lifeline.org during the outage. The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Disaster Distress Helpline was also down.

    It's unclear what happened to cause the...

    Green Spaces Give Mental Boost, Even When White With Snow

    If you need a body image boost, go outdoors.

    Whether you're in green space, a blue space near a river or the ocean or even a snowy environment, it can make a difference.

    “A body of evidence now exists showing that nature exposure — living close to, frequenting or engaging with environments such as forests and parks — is associated with a range of physical and psychological w...

    Long COVID Often Brings Another Issue: Stigma

    People with long COVID deal with months or years of punishing fatigue, mind-numbing brain fog or a frightening fight to take each and every breath.

    But they can also face the skepticism of others, a new study finds -- employers and doctors questioning whether they're really sick, friends avoiding them, family losing patience.

    About 95% of people living with long COVID say they've ex...

    Relax, a Little Stress Might Be Good for You

    If holiday demands get you frazzled, you can take heart from a new study: When it comes to stress, a little is good.

    “The bad outcomes of stress are pretty clear and not new,” said Assaf Oshri, lead author of the study and an associate professor in the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sci...

    A Purpose in Life Might Lengthen Your Life

    Having a clear purpose in life could reduce your risk for premature death.

    That's the conclusion of researchers who spent eight years tracking about 13,000 Americans over age 50.

    Those who considered their life particularly purposeful were found to have about a 15% risk of death from any cause during the tracking period, the new study found. That figure jumped to almost 37% among pa...

    A Beloved Pet's Death Can Trigger Deep Grief. Finding Support Can Be Tough

    Anyone who's ever loved a pet like a member of the family knows that the grief when that dog, cat or other furry friend dies can be devastating.

    But too often, finding others who truly understand and support that sense of loss can be challenging.

    Michelle Crossley, a mental health counselor, ...

    Caregiving Can Heighten Loneliness, or Ease It

    Taking care of a loved one can either be a break from loneliness or help to bring loneliness on, depending on your circumstances, new research shows.

    Researchers broadly studied the issue, using data from 28 studies with more than 190,000 participants in 21 countries. They found certain types of caregiving — such as volunteering and caring for grandchildren — offered protection agains...

    Transgender Youth Much More Likely to Have Troubled Sleep

    Transgender youth are more likely than others to experience sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea, and researchers now recommend these young people be screened for sleep problems.

    “Transgender and gender-nonconforming identity may precede mental health disorders, and both influence insomnia diagnosis,” said study co-author

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • November 24, 2022
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  • Tips for 'Stomaching' the Holidays If You Have IBS

    Stress affects gut health and intensifies pain, which — for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) — can make traveling to see family during the holiday season excruciating.

    “People living with IBS often say the holidays are especially stressful, above and beyond the typical holiday stress most people report having," said

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • November 24, 2022
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  • Mental Health Care Shortage Could Play Role in U.S. Youth Suicides

    The kids aren't alright.

    Up to 1 in 5 children in the United States has a mental health condition, but only about half of those who need mental health care are now receiving it. What's more, suicide is the second leading cause of death among U.S. kids and teens, and youth suicide rates have been rising over the last decade.

    Now, about one year after the U.S. Surgeon General cit...

    Words Can Wound When Parents Talk to Kids About Obesity

    With U.S. health officials calling childhood obesity a public health crisis, conversations about weight are important. But what you say to your kids can be challenging, and even counterproductive, a new study found.

    "Body weight is a sensitive issue and the way we talk about it matters," said lead author

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • November 21, 2022
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  • Full Page
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