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Pregnant Women Need to Take Care in Sweltering Summer Heat

This summer has brought dangerous, record-breaking heat to parts of the United States and Canada. The hot weather poses an extra challenge for pregnant women.

Mothers-to-be need to stay cool to avoid heat exhaustion and its complications, according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston.

"The summer is tough on pregnant women because the body struggles to cool down w...

Extreme Heat Hits Poorer Neighborhoods Harder

Extreme heat strikes poor and minority neighborhoods in U.S. cities harder than those that are wealthier and mainly white, a new study finds.

"The distribution of excess urban heat varies within cities, and as a result, communities do not share a city's extreme heat burden equally," said study co-author Jennifer Burney. She's chair of global climate policy and research at the University o...

Global Warming Means Spread of Malaria, Dengue

Climate change could put billions more people at risk for deadly mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue, researchers said. They see the danger zone expanding within the United States, Europe and Asia.

If temperatures rise by about 3.7 degrees Celsius by the year 2100 compared to pre-industrial levels, 4.7 billion more people globally may be at risk for the diseases compared t...

Climate Change Already Causes 5 Million Extra Deaths Per Year

Climate change has already become deadly enough to cause 5 million extra deaths worldwide each year, researchers report.

"This is the first study to get a global overview of mortality due to non-optimal temperature conditions between 2000 and 2019, the hottest period since the pre-industrial era," said study co-leader Yuming Guo, a professor at Monash University in Australia.

The fi...

Shining a Light on Sunscreens

Sunscreen isn't just for pool gatherings and beach outings: Using sunscreen every day could reduce your risk of skin cancer, experts say.

Daily use of at least an SPF 15 sunscreen can lower your risk of melanoma — the deadliest type of skin cancer — by 50%, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

If you spend most of your day indoors, SPF 15 should provide adequate protection,...

How Much Do Trees Lower Urban Temperatures?

Could trees be the key to a cool summer in the city?

Yes, claims new research that calculated just how much greenery can bring temperatures down.

"We've long known that the shade of trees and buildings can provide cooling," said study co-author Jean-Michel Guldmann. He is a professor emeritus of city and regional planning at Ohio State University, in Columbus.

"But now we can...

Even Good Weather Didn't Lift Lockdown Blues: Study

In normal times, a sunny day can lift your mood while a stormy one can darken it, but new British research shows that weather had little effect on people's spirits during the pandemic.

"We know that lockdown restrictions, and the resulting impact on social life and the economy, are linked to at least two major negative public health consequences -- a reduction in physical exercise, both i...

Global Warming to Blame for 1 in 3 Heat-Related Deaths Worldwide

Human-caused global warming is responsible for more than one-third of heat-related deaths worldwide, but the proportion is much higher in certain countries, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data gathered between 1991 and 2018 from 732 locations in 43 countries. They concluded that 37% of all heat-related deaths in recent summer periods were attributable to the warming of the planet...

Global Warming Could Bring More Stillbirths, Study Warns

Rising temperatures caused by climate change could trigger a worldwide increase in stillbirths, researchers warn.

The team at the University of Queensland in Australia analyzed 12 studies on the subject. They found that exposure to extremely high temperatures throughout pregnancy appeared to increase risk of stillbirth, particularly late in pregnancy.

"Overall, risk of stillbirth ap...

Is Your Family 'CO Safe' When Big Storms Hit?

If you live in the path of hurricanes , the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging you to be prepared.

Deaths from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, fires and electric shock are common during severe weather events, according to the CPSC.

Hurricane season in North America runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has ...

Wildfires Are Changing the Seasonal Air Quality of the U.S. West

Increasing numbers of wildfires are making poor air quality more common throughout the Western United States, according to a new study.

The findings suggest that many cities may soon have trouble meeting air quality standards, said lead author Kai Wilmot, a doctoral student in atmospheric sciences at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Wilmot's team examined Western air qualit...

Heat Waves Topping 132 Degrees F Likely in Middle East Without Action on Climate Change

The Middle East and North Africa are already among the hottest spots on the planet, but new research warns that if nothing is done to slow climate change there will be life-threatening heat waves with temperatures of 132 Fahrenheit or higher in those regions.

"Our results for a business-as-usual pathway indicate that, especially in the second half of this century, unprecedented super- an...

One Reason It's Hotter in Poorer Neighborhoods: Fewer Trees

Poor neighborhoods in the United States have fewer trees and are hotter than richer neighborhoods, new research shows.

In the study, the researchers assessed tree cover in the 100 largest urban areas of the country.

In nine out of 10 communities, there was less tree cover in low-income areas than in high-income areas. On average, low-income neighborhoods had about 15% less tree cove...

Do You Live in One of America's Unhealthiest Cities for Polluted Air?

More than 40% of Americans live with unhealthy air, with people of color disproportionately affected, according to the American Lung Association's annual "State of the Air" report.

Certain cities, and certain types of Americans, are far more prone to be affected.

Black Americans are 61% more likely to live in a county shrouded in unhealthy air than white people and three times more ...

Warmer Climate, More Pollen, Worse Allergies: How to Fight Back

Climate change has made North America's pollen season longer and more severe, but there are ways to reduce your allergy misery, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

The best way to deal with worsening pollen seasons is to get ahead of them.

"If you know it's likely that your allergy symptoms will arrive earlier in the spring or fall seaso...

Your Mask Might Also Shield You From Allergies

Here's a silver lining to having to strap a mask across your face when you go out in public: That mask may also help guard against severe spring allergies, an expert says.

Many patients with spring allergies are doing well this season because they're spending more time indoors and wearing a mask when they go outside, said Dr. Do-Yeon Cho, an associate professor of otolaryngology at the Un...

Pollen Peril: Sneezin' Season May Up COVID Risk

It's that time of year when flowers and trees bloom freely and pollen makes the lives of many miserable. But new research reveals a hidden risk: It could also make you more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.

COVID-19 infection rates waxed and waned with pollen counts in 2020, according to tracking data gathered across 31 countries in every corner of the globe.

"Airborne pollen can pa...

Global Warming Could Make Survival in Tropics Impossible: Study

Limiting global warming to targets proposed in the Paris Agreement could keep tropical regions from reaching temperatures that are beyond human tolerability, a new study projects.

Researchers estimate that if countries are able to cap warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the tropics will be spared temperatures that surpass the "survival limit." But life in the worl...

Wildfire Smoke Is Especially Toxic to Lungs, Study Shows

Fine particles in wildfire smoke pose a far greater threat to the lungs than similar particles in vehicle exhaust and other types of air pollution, researchers report.

These fine particles -- called PM2.5 -- have a diameter about 1/20th the size of a human hair and can get into the respiratory tract, enter the bloodstream and damage key organs.

PM2.5 is the main component of wildfir...

Snow Shoveling, Slips on Ice Bring Cold Weather Dangers

Clearing away snow can be hazardous to your health, experts warn.

Shoveling snow causes 100 deaths a year in the United States, and injuries due to improper use of snowblowers are common.

"Cold weather will cause the body to constrict blood vessels to maintain warmth, which can then raise blood pressure and the risk for heart attack," said Dr. Chad Zack, a cardiologist at Penn State...

As Climate Change Lengthens Allergy Season, Pollen Travels Farther

If you suffer the itchy, sneezy, wheezy consequences of seasonal allergies, you're probably painfully aware that pollen season is starting earlier and lasting longer than ever.

It's an upshot of climate change, and new research from Germany offers an explanation for this extended sneezin' season: Pollen is on the move, with early blooming spores now wafting across traditional locales and ...

Misjudging Thin Ice Can Be Fatal, Check First

Before you venture onto frozen ponds, lakes and rivers, it's critical to make sure they're safe, an expert cautions.

"A minimum of four inches of clear, newly formed ice is needed to support one person on foot," according to Curt Sinclair, a natural resources specialist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

"New ice is usually stronger than old ice, and clear ice is usual...

Are Your Allergies Worse? Blame Climate Change

In a grim development for allergy sufferers in North America, a new investigation warns that pollen seasons are getting longer and worse.

Over the last three decades, the annual pollen season has expanded by nearly three weeks, accompanied by a 21% jump in pollen concentrations.

A big underlying cause: climate change.

"It is clear that global warming is the major culprit ...

Climate Change May Have Helped Emergence of New Coronavirus

It's a link few might have considered, but a new study indicates that climate change may have prompted the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rising temperatures caused by greenhouse emissions have boosted the growth of bat-friendly forest habitat in China's southern province of Yunnan and neighboring areas, making the region a hotspot for bat-borne coronaviruses, the researchers explained. Genetic data ...

Child Car Seat Safety Tip: Skip Puffy Winter Coats

Puffy coats have their place, but it's not inside a car seat.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers a variety of tips for keeping your little ones safe and warm while traveling by car.

The first is to avoid dressing children in puffy coats or snowsuits before buckling them in, because car seat straps won't tighten enough. That creates a danger that the fluffy padding will ...

Climate Change Is Spurring Malnutrition in Kids Worldwide

Rising temperatures caused by climate change are contributing to low diet quality and malnutrition among young children in many parts of the world, researchers say.

Warmer temperatures now equal or exceed the impact of traditional causes of child malnutrition and low quality diets, such as poverty, poor sanitation and low levels of education, according to investigators from the University...

Lockdowns' Benefits for Air Quality Weren't as Big as Thought: Study

Two types of air pollution declined in cities around the world during initial COVID-19 lockdowns, but one type increased, a new study finds.

Researchers assessed changes in levels of nitrogen dioxide, ozone and fine particulate (PM2.5) air pollution during lockdowns in 11 cities: Beijing and Wuhan in China; Milan; Rome; Madrid; London; Paris; Berlin; New York; Los Angeles; and Delhi, Indi...

Could High Pollen Levels Trigger Pelvic Pain?

Most folks are familiar with the havoc that high pollen levels can wreak on their lungs, but new research suggests they can also exacerbate a painful pelvic condition in some people.

"Our study provides evidence to suggest increased pollen counts may trigger symptom flares in people living with UCPPS [urologic chronic pelvic pain syndrome]," said researcher Siobhan Sutcliffe, of Washingto...

Cold Weather Exercise Could Burn More Fat

If you want to burn fat this winter, take your exercise outdoors, researchers say.

A Canadian study suggests that vigorous exercise in cold weather may burn more fat than working out indoors.

Regular physical activity speeds metabolism and helps regulate fat in the blood ("lipids"), and high-intensity training is better for burning fat than moderate-intensity exercise, the rese...

Global Warming May Be Triggering Toxic Algae Blooms Along U.S. West Coast

New toxic algal blooms have appeared on the U.S. west coast due to an ocean heat wave, a new study finds.

The researchers said that climate change is increasing the frequency of highly toxic algal blooms in this area.

These algae produce a neurotoxin called domoic acid that causes severe and potentially lethal digestive and neurological symptoms, and is a threat to marine wildlife a...

How to Stay Safe From Falls, Freezing This Winter

Outdoor activities can help you keep fit this winter while staying safe from COVID-19, but you need to take precautions to reduce your risk of injury, an expert says.

Skiing and snowboarding are good examples. Falls are common in these sports, but proper technique and safety gear can reduce the risk of injury.

Each year, nearly 120,000 ski- and snowboard-related injuries are treated...

Hurricanes Leave Rise in Hospitalizations in Their Wake

Hospitals are swamped with older patients after hurricanes, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data on hospitalizations for adults 65 and older in the month following eight of the United States' largest hurricanes in recent years.

In this age group, post-hurricane increases in hospitalizations for any reason ranged from 10% (Hurricane Irene, 2011) to 23% (Hurricane Sandy, 2012)...

Disasters Leave a Rise in Suicides in Their Wake: Study

Hurricanes, tornadoes and other major disasters can cause more damage than devastation to property, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that the severe emotional distress and anxiety for those who have lived through major disasters can also lead to suicide.

The authors examined 281 natural disasters during a 12-year period and their impact on suicide rates in those communities.<...

Global Warming Has Ticks Jumping From Dogs to Humans

Climate change could increase people's risk of getting dangerous diseases from ticks, researchers warn.

The investigators conducted tests with brown dog ticks that carry the bacteria that cause the deadly disease Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) and found the ticks are much more likely to prefer feeding on the blood of people than dogs when temperatures rise.

Brown dog ticks are ...

Global Warming Could Bring Added Risks for Pregnant Women

Global warming could increase rates of serious pregnancy problems, researchers warn.

They analyzed 70 studies from 27 countries that reported associations between high temperatures and preterm birth, birth weight and stillbirths.

"Given increases in the frequency and intensity of heat waves, the number of pregnant women exposed to these conditions worldwide, and the significant...

Warming World Could Alter West Nile Transmission in U.S.

Climate change could give West Nile virus a boost in some areas of the United States, but reduce its spread in other regions, a new study suggests.

The mosquito-borne virus spreads most efficiently in the United States at temperatures between 75.2 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a study published Sept. 15 in the journal eLife.

"As the climate warms, it is crit...

Wildfires Ravage Land, and Lungs, Across the U.S. West

HVAC repairman Brad Sissell shrugged off the acid-yellow air surrounding him and kept working, preparing a gas pipe for a new range going into a Salem, Ore., home.

Less than a half-hour's drive away, nearly 200,000 acres were burning in one of the major Oregon wildfires that has sent a full tenth of the state's population fleeing for shelter.

But it was a workday and so Siss...

West Coast Wildfires, COVID a Double Whammy to Lung Health

Even as wildfires rage across California, Oregon and Washington, another danger lurks in the eerie orange haze that has enveloped U.S. cities, towns and neighborhoods this week: an increased risk of catching COVID-19.

Wildfire smoke can irritate the lungs and harm the immune system, explained Dr. Cheryl Pirozzi, a pulmonologist at University of Utah Health. The particulate pollution c...

Hot Asphalt Releases a Lot of Pollution Into the Air

Asphalt baking in the summer sunshine is no fun for tender feet, but a new study suggests it's not doing your lungs any favors either.

As it heats up, asphalt releases chemical compounds that contribute to air pollution. And its emissions double as its temperature increases from 104 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, researchers found.

Sunlight plays a key role in these asphalt emis...

What Is More Deadly in the U.S.: Hot Weather or Cold?

Extreme weather days have been on the rise worldwide since the advent of global warming. But a new U.S. study finds that cold weather is responsible for most temperature-related deaths in Illinois.

Researchers analyzed data on heat- and cold-related injuries that required a hospital visit in the state between 2011 and 2018. They identified around 24,000 cases each related to the cold ...

COVID-19 and Hurricane Season Could Be Deadly Mix

A hurricane is bearing down on your coastal community, bringing with it deadly storm surge flooding and airborne debris propelled by high winds.

But this year there's another killer lurking about -- the invisible menace posed by the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Public health and emergency management experts are sounding the alarm that the twin risks of the annual hurricane season a...

Climate Change Could Bring Heat 'Health Crisis' to U.S. Cities

Some of the leading hotspots in the United States are on track to become even more sweltering in the coming decades -- thanks to a combination of greenhouse gas emissions, urban development and population growth.

In a new study, researchers estimate that over the course of this century, the biggest relative increases in extreme heat will hit cities in the Sunbelt -- including Atlanta;...

As Climate Change Intensifies Storms, Seniors' Health Could Suffer: Study

Global warming may ultimately rain on everyone's parade, but new research suggests that major thunderstorms are already wreaking some havoc on the respiratory health of seniors.

That's because atmospheric changes that precede storms increase the risk that older people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) could develop breathing problems serious enough to send th...

Pandemic Could Complicate Hurricane Season

As Hurricane Isaias moved toward the east coast of Florida on Friday, one expert warns that the coronavirus pandemic could make preparing for an active hurricane season even more challenging.

The average hurricane season has about 12 named storms, but up to 20 storms are being predicted this season, according to Marshall Shepherd, director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the Un...

Summer's Toxic Algae Blooms: A Growing Threat to Health?

Every summer seems to bring fresh warnings of toxic algae blooming in local ponds, lakes and waterways.

These toxic blooms are known to be dangerous to human and animal health, but a new study suggests they might be even more harmful than previously thought.

A single massive blue-green algae bloom in Florida's Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee River flowed into the Gulf...

Expert Tips to Help You Beat the Heat

With much of the United States blanketed by a heat wave this week, the American Red Cross offers some survival tips.

Each year, extreme heat kills more than 600 people in the United States. And many others are at risk of heat-related illness, especially adults aged 65 and older and those with chronic medical conditions, the Red Cross noted in a news release.

Electric fans ma...

Coming This Way: Huge Saharan Dust Plume Will Affect Americans' Health

A pandemic, a slew of protests -- and now a huge blanket of Sahara Desert dust will engulf parts of the United States this week.

That's what some weary Americans will have to brace themselves for by Wednesday or Thursday, meteorologists and health experts warn.

The dust plume, drifting from North Africa across the Atlantic to North America, occurs a few times every year, the...

Don't Be a 'Hot-Head': Study Suggests Head Overheating Impairs Thinking

Can working or playing in the hot sun "fry" your brain?

Yes, claims a new, small study that found too much heat on the head hampered thinking in volunteers.

Most people know that high temperatures can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke as the body's core temperature becomes dangerously high, but the beating sun can affect your brain even if your body temperature stays norm...

Climate Change, Smog Could Mean More Preemie Babies: Study

Here's more bad news associated with climate change: Pregnant women exposed to air pollution or heat waves face a greater risk of having a preterm or underweight baby, a new research review finds.

The review, of 68 studies from across the United States, found that the large majority arrived at the same conclusion: Babies were at greater risk when their mothers lived in areas with poor...

Why Some Dogs Are at Higher Odds of Dying From Heat

As summer temperatures soar, dogs are at risk of potentially fatal heat-related illness -- and certain ones appear particularly vulnerable, a large new study confirms.

The study, of more than 900,000 dogs, found that older pooches and those who carried extra pounds were at increased risk. The same was true of certain breeds -- often dogs with "flat" faces, such as bulldogs and pugs.