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Health News Results - 53

Smokers and vapers who get COVID-19 can probably expect a more severe infection, health experts warn.

Many advisories have focused on the risk facing older people, those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, and people with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients. But doctors also caution that users of electronic cigarettes and tobacco are more in danger from the new ...

Everyone is learning to deal with the threat of the new coronavirus, but for people with cancer, the virus is even more concerning.

Cancer can increase people's risk of catching the coronavirus. It increases the odds of complications from the infection, too.

"Patients with cancer are at a higher risk, especially if treatment is active or recent. It's hard to give a one-siz...

E-cigarette use is rising, putting more Americans at risk of blood vessel damage and heart disease, according to three new studies.

In the first study, researchers found that nearly 1 in 20 adults use e-cigarettes.

"Our study may have important public health implications and ramifications for educational strategies aimed at targeting various population segments to inform t...

As the coronavirus pandemic continues its relentless spread around the world, the greatest worry has been for older people. But experts stress that age is not the sole determinant of risk for severe illness or death.

"The elderly and people with chronic diseases have the highest risk. If you're not sure if you're at a higher risk, talk to your doctor," said Dr. Susan Bleasdale, a spo...

Premature infants' immune systems develop at a rate similar to full-term infants, a new study finds.

British researchers tracked immune system development in babies born before 32 weeks, including identifying different immune cell populations and the types of bacteria present in stool samples.

All of the preemies' immune systems progressed similarly as they got older, regard...

The coronavirus is on the cusp of becoming a global pandemic and experts say that, if it does, older people and men could be most at risk for serious illness and death.

Men have died from coronavirus at nearly twice the rate as women, and the virus has been shown to sicken and kill older folks at a greater rate than young people, according to data from China.

The coronavirus...

Hepatitis, appendicitis and viral meningitis are among the serious complications that can occur when you get the measles, doctors warn in a new report.

The study -- which outlines cases involving three adults who developed major complications -- is also a reminder of the importance of vaccination against the illness.

Measles is highly contagious, but it's also easily prevent...

Researchers who have pinpointed an antibody linked to life-threatening autoimmune disorders in children say their discovery could lead to faster diagnosis and treatment of these patients.

The investigators identified the myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibody in their study of 535 children with central nervous system demyelinating disorders and encephalitis.

MOG ...

A new discovery could lead to better treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases, such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, researchers report.

MS occurs when immune cells get into the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), causing nerve damage that results in neurological problems. However, the cause is unclear.

Studies in a mouse mo...

An immune system that's not functioning normally may lead to lung cancer in patients who don't smoke, a new study suggests.

"A strong immune system helps to keep inflammation under control and chronic inflammation is known to promote cancer," said co-author Rayjean Hung.

"Our research suggests that it's underlying dysfunction of immune regulation that can lead to lung cance...

Sepsis kills more than twice as many people worldwide as once believed, and children in poor regions account for an excessive number of such deaths, researchers say.

Sepsis is an out-of-control immune response to infection that harms organs. People who survive sepsis can have lifelong disabilities.

In 2017, there were 48.9 million cases of sepsis and 11 million sepsis deaths...

HIV infection causes a loss of immunity to smallpox, even in people who were vaccinated as kids and are taking antiretroviral drugs to restore their immune system, a new study finds.

Such "HIV-associated immune amnesia" could explain why people with HIV who are on antiretroviral therapy still have shorter lives on average than people without HIV, according to the researchers.

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A variant of a common herpes virus may play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), Swedish researchers say.

They analyzed the blood of about 8,700 MS patients and a control group of more than 7,200 people without MS. They were looking for antibodies against proteins of two variants (A and B) of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), which has been linked with MS.

MS pat...

The latest version of the so-called artificial pancreas system helped people with type 1 diabetes gain even better control of their blood sugar levels than current technology does, a new study reports.

The device combines an insulin pump, a continuous glucose monitor and a computer algorithm. The system measures blood sugar levels and delivers insulin automatically when levels rise. ...

Massive vitamin C infusions could be a life-saver for patients with sepsis, an inflammatory condition run amok, new research suggests.

Sepsis is a leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals, claiming as many as 300,000 lives a year, according to the U.S. National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

"It's literally an explosion of the body's immune defense," said the study's...

You may have the extinct humans called Denisovans to thank for your adaptable immune system, Australian researchers suggest.

Denisovans were related to Neanderthals and interbred with modern humans about 50,000 years ago as modern humans left Africa for Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Modern humans got a gene variant from Denisovans that boosted immune reactions and inflamm...

If you have multiple sclerosis (MS), you can and should receive recommended vaccinations -- including annual flu shots, a new American Academy of Neurology guideline says.

"We reviewed all of the available evidence, and for people with MS, preventing infections through vaccine use is a key part of medical care," said guideline lead author Dr. Mauricio Farez.

"People with MS ...

As they get older, U.S. children born with HIV are less likely to take the medicine they need to fight the AIDS-causing virus, a new study finds.

About 12,000 children, teens and young adults in the United States have had HIV since birth. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is key to managing the infection and reducing the risk of transmission.

In this study, researchers followed 3...

After vitamins and minerals, fish oil with its omega-3 fatty acids is the most widely used supplement, taken by an estimated 10% of Americans.

So, when research reviews show that it doesn't provide the health benefits for people with heart conditions that researchers thought it did, it's hard to know what to do.

One thing researchers do know is that omega-3s are essenti...

Smartphones have become an essential part of modern medicine, but they might be exposing patients to potentially deadly staph infections, a new study suggests.

Tests of cellphones at a Brazilian medical school revealed that 40% carried Staphylococcus aureus, a common cause of hospital infections.

Worse, 85% of the bacteria isolated were resistant to antibiotic...

Children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at an early age have slowed growth in brain areas linked to mild cognitive deficits, new research suggests.

The study compared MRIs of the brain in kids with type 1 diabetes to age-matched children without the condition. Researchers also saw that areas of slower brain growth were associated with higher average blood sugar levels.

"We ...

Steering clear of folks who are coughing and sneezing is one way to prevent catching the flu. Avoiding e-cigarettes may be another, new research suggests.

In a small study including smokers, e-cigarette users and nonsmokers, researchers saw that both traditional cigarette smokers and "vapers" were more susceptible to flu.

But cigarettes and e-cigarettes appeared to boost fl...

A gene therapy that tweaks the immune system might offer hope to people with blood cancer that has resisted standard treatments, a new preliminary trial suggests.

The cancer, called multiple myeloma, arises in certain white blood cells. It is currently incurable, but there are treatments that can help people live with the disease for years.

Howeve...

The idea behind immunotherapy for peanut allergy is appealing in its simplicity: Ask a patient to eat tiny amounts of peanut every day, and over time their immune system will become desensitized to it.

Unfortunately, this cure might be doing more harm than the allergy itself, a new evidence review suggests.

People who undergo immunotherapy for their peanut allergies wind up with...

They were once imprisoned in plastic bubbles that cut them off from the dangerous, infectious world.

But now, children born with a disease that robs them of a functioning immune system may have gained a new lease on life.

Researchers say gene therapy may be a cure for X-linked severe combined immune deficiency (SCID-X1), widely known as "bubble boy disease."

Ten ...

Almost one in five multiple sclerosis patients may be misdiagnosed with the autoimmune disease, according to a new study.

Of 241 previously diagnosed multiple sclerosis (MS) patients referred to two major Los Angeles medical centers for treatment, nearly 18% did not actually have the autoimmune disease, the researchers found.

Those patients spent an average of nearly fou...

Scientists have been cataloging bacteria and fungi inside the International Space Station (ISS), and they say their efforts will should keep astronauts safe and could also have benefits on Earth.

The team analyzed samples collected from eight locations on the space station during three flights across 14 months. The samples came from the viewing window, toilet, exercise platform, dinin...

Proper treatment can help people with multiple sclerosis (MS) contend with their disease, an expert says.

"Patients get a predisposed feeling that their life is doomed. That it's going to be a complicated life, which isn't necessarily so," said Dr. Cary Twyman, a neurologist at Penn State Health.

"There are many misconceptions and false information about MS on the internet, ...

Researchers have added to a growing body of evidence that skin plays a major role in food allergies.

Their study of 62 children with eczema found that those with food allergies had skin irregularities not present on others.

Those irregularities included a lack of structural proteins needed to retain moisture and produce an effective skin barrier; increases in certain keratin...

Certain tick bites can cause a red meat allergy, and now scientists are shedding new light on the condition, known as alpha-gal syndrome.

Alpha-gal is a sugar found in most mammal blood, but not in humans.

"Our original hypothesis was that humans developed the allergy after being exposed to alpha-gal through a tick that had fed on a deer, dog or other small mammal that has ...

Melanoma patients who are recent and current smokers have lower survival rates than nonsmokers, suggesting that smoking may weaken immune response to the most deadly skin cancer, researchers say.

In a study of more than 700 melanoma patients in the United Kingdom, smokers were 40 percent less likely to survive melanoma than people who hadn't smoked for at least 10 years before their ...

Patients with kidney failure who are on dialysis or have received a transplant have a sharply higher risk of dying from cancer, Australian researchers report.

In fact, compared with people who don't have kidney failure, they have more than double the odds of cancer death. The odds are particularly high among patients aged 20 to 34, for whom the risk is 11 times higher, the researcher...

HPV vaccination rates for younger American adolescents are alarmingly low, researchers say.

"While we have seen gains in HPV vaccination coverage, we are still falling behind at the younger ages," said study lead author Robert Bednarczyk. He'sassistant professor of global health and epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmi...

People who take prescription opioid painkillers are at increased risk for pneumonia, especially those with HIV, a new study suggests.

The findings support concerns that prescription opioids can weaken the immune system. Doctors who prescribe opioids need to reduce patients' risk of pneumonia through vaccination and by encouraging them to stop smoking, the researchers said.

F...

An immune system drug may help prevent or slow complications in a type of multiple sclerosis known as secondary progressive MS, a new study finds.

The medication is called rituximab (Rituxan). It's used to treat a number of conditions, including certain blood cell cancers and the autoimmune condition rheumatoid arthritis.

The new Swiss study found that MS patients tak...

More than 10 percent of U.S. adults have a food allergy -- and nearly double that believe they do, a new study estimates.

Researchers found that 19 percent of those surveyed thought they had a food allergy. But when the investigators dug into people's symptoms, they found that only 10.8 percent reported "convincing" signs of a true allergy.

Experts said the findings highligh...

Some people who receive botulinum toxin injections for disorders that cause muscle tightness and contractions develop resistance to the treatment, researchers say.

The new study included nearly 600 patients with dystonia or spasticity who had been receiving botulinum toxin type A (commonly known as "Botox") for about three to five years.

The researchers found that about 15 p...

Researchers say they've pinpointed a possible culprit in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), reporting that an overactive immune system might send the entire body into an overwhelming state of exhaustion.

"For the first time, we have shown that people who are prone to develop a CFS-like illness have an overactive immune system, both before and during a challenge to the immune system," sai...

Medical science has made tremendous advances in "personalized medicine" -- drugs that fight cancer and other diseases by boosting the immune system or targeting specific genetic traits.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter benefited from one of these drugs, Keytruda (pembrolizumab), which successfully beat back his brain cancer by ramping up his immune system.

But the American...

Deaths and complications among pregnant women with lupus have declined in the United States over the past two decades, a new study finds.

Lupus, also called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in many parts of the body, including the kidneys, skin and joints, as well as the tissue lining the lungs, heart and brain.

Pre...

The gluten-free diet craze is both reassuring and upsetting to people with celiac disease who are allergic to the nutrient, a small study suggests.

People with celiac disease say they're happy to have more food choices at stores and restaurants. But some with celiac sense a growing stigma as other people voluntarily go gluten-free. And many patients fear people see them as "high-main...

It's not always easy -- even for doctors -- to tell if someone has type 1 or type 2 diabetes when they're diagnosed as an adult.

And a new study finds mistakes are common.

That's what happened to British Prime Minister Theresa May when she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2012. She was in her 50s at the time. Despite having all of the symptoms common to type 1 diabetes...

Though psoriasis is not contagious, many Americans shun people with the skin condition, new research indicates.

The study included a cross-section of about 400 Americans who viewed images of people with visible psoriasis. Large numbers wrongly thought psoriasis was contagious or only affects the skin, and about one-third said they wouldn't want to invite people with the condition into...

Immune cells use channels that run from skull bone marrow to the lining of the brain to rapidly respond to stroke and other brain injuries, a new study in mice suggests.

Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside bones. Along with red blood cells, it produces immune cells that fight infections and heal injuries.

"We always thought that immune cells from our arms and legs travel...

A baby's immune system kicks into high gear immediately after birth, a new study finds.

Changes in a newborn's immune system have been difficult to assess because doing so has relied on samples taken from the umbilical cord immediately after birth. In this study, researchers used a new immune cell analysis technique to follow 100 premature and full-term babies for their first few week...

The eye disease glaucoma may be an autoimmune disorder, a new study suggests.

Glaucoma affects nearly 70 million people worldwide. It damages the retina and optic nerve and can lead to blindness.

In research with mice, scientists found that immune system T-cells cause the retinal damage that occurs in glaucoma, and that previous interactions with bacteria normally found in t...

Organ transplant recipients are at increased risk for skin cancer and need to protect themselves, a dermatologist warns.

"Individuals who receive organ transplants need to take immunosuppressive medications for the rest of their lives, and this makes it more difficult for their bodies to fight disease, including skin cancer," said Dr. Christina Lee Chung. She is former director of th...

Probiotics have become a trendy dietary supplement, with more and more people popping bacteria-laden capsules to try to improve their gut health.

But these supplements could harm some patients, and researchers have done a poor job tracking their safety, a new review argues.

Reporting of side effects is often "missing, insufficient or inadequate" in clinical trials aimed at a...

Trauma or intense stress may up your odds of developing an autoimmune disease, a new study suggests.

Comparing more than 106,000 people who had stress disorders with more than 1 million people without them, researchers found that stress was tied to a 36 percent greater risk of developing 41 autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn's disease and celiac dise...

Sometimes life's sudden shocks or illnesses can turn hair gray -- Barbara Bush, the former first lady who passed away in April, reportedly had her brown hair turn gray as a young mother, following a daughter's tragic death.

But how does premature graying happen? Scientists say new animal research may help clear up the mystery.

The mouse studies suggest there's a link between...