Health

R.S.V. Vaccines May Slightly Increase Risk of Rare Neurological Condition
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R.S.V. Vaccines May Slightly Increase Risk of Rare Neurological Condition

Vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus may have caused a few cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological condition, federal health officials said on Thursday.The numbers were small, on the order of two cases per 100,000 vaccinated people or fewer, and much more data is needed to pin down the risk, the officials said. In May 2023, the Food and Drug Administration approved two vaccines against R.S.V.: Abrysvo, by Pfizer, and Arexvy, by GSK.In June, rather than recommend the shots to all older adults, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that adults aged 60 or older might opt to receive a single dose of an R.S.V. vaccine in consultation with their health care providers. Fewer than 10 million doses had been administered by Feb. 16.The new safety data, disclose...
Lead-Tainted Applesauce Highlights Failings in Food Safety System
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Lead-Tainted Applesauce Highlights Failings in Food Safety System

The tainted applesauce might have gone unnoticed for even longer had it not been for a family in North Carolina.Early last summer, Nicole Peterson and Thomas Duong were alarmed by their young children’s blood-lead levels in a routine screening. Within weeks, the levels had doubled.Ms. Peterson said the couple worked with the local health department as they tried to determine what could be hurting their children. We “weren’t sleeping and we’re not eating — like this is driving us crazy,” said Ms. Peterson. She and her husband are suing Dollar Tree, where they bought the applesauce, and WanaBana, a U.S. distributor led by Austrofood officers.A Dollar Tree spokeswoman said the company is committed to the safety of the products it sells. Austrofood said that it had relied on its supplier’s cer...
Your Inhalers and EpiPens Aren’t Very Healthy for the Environment
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Your Inhalers and EpiPens Aren’t Very Healthy for the Environment

Single-use insulin pens changed Brian Brandell’s life.Growing up with Type 1 diabetes in the 1970s, he had to carry glass syringes and vials of insulin wherever he went. So in 1985, when Novo Nordisk debuted a disposable prefilled pen that combined several doses of medication with a syringe, Mr. Brandell readily adopted the new device.“They were a godsend,” he recalled.But more recently, he began weighing the effects of all the plastic in the pens he had thrown away over the years, and the potential harm to people and his surroundings.“I’m using this lifesaving product,” he said with frustration, “but in order for me to use it, I’ve got to be willing to damage the environment.”It’s no secret that the world has a plastic problem. The versatile, durable and cheap material is clogging the wor...
Severe Frostbite Gets a Treatment That May Prevent Amputation
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Severe Frostbite Gets a Treatment That May Prevent Amputation

The first time Dr. Peter Hackett saw a patient with frostbite, the man died from his wounds. It was in Chicago in 1971, and the man had gotten drunk and passed out in the snow, his fingers so frozen that gangrene eventually set in.Dr. Hackett later worked at Mount Everest Basecamp, on Denali, Alaska, and now in Colorado, becoming expert in treating cold-weather injury. The experience was often the same: There was not much to do about frostbite, except rewarm the patient, give aspirin, amputate in severe cases and, more often, wait and accept that six months later the patient’s body might “auto-amputate” by naturally shedding a dead finger or toe.His mentor in Anchorage used to say, “Frostbite January, Amputation July,” remembered Dr. Hackett, clinical professor at the Altitude Research Cen...
Roger Guillemin, 100, Nobel-Winning Scientist Stirred by Rivalries, Dies
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Roger Guillemin, 100, Nobel-Winning Scientist Stirred by Rivalries, Dies

Roger Guillemin, a neuroscientist who was a co-discoverer of the unexpected hormones with which the brain controls many bodily functions, died on Wednesday at a senior living facility in San Diego. He was 100.His death was confirmed by his daughter Chantal Guillemin.Dr. Guillemin’s career was marked by two spectacular competitions that ruffled the staid world of endocrinological research. The first was a 10-year tussle with his former partner, Andrew V. Schally, which ended in a draw when the two shared half of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1977. (The other half went to the American medical physicist Rosalyn Yalow for unrelated research.)The second competition began shortly afterward when Wylie Vale Jr., Dr. Guillemin’s longtime collaborator and protégé, set up a rival labor...
Study of Patients With a Chronic Fatigue Condition May Offer Clues to Long Covid
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Study of Patients With a Chronic Fatigue Condition May Offer Clues to Long Covid

Jennifer Caldwell was active and energetic, working two jobs and taking care of her daughter and her parents, when she developed a bacterial infection that was followed by intense lightheadedness, fatigue and memory problems.That was nearly a decade ago, and she has since struggled with the condition known as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, or ME/CFS. Ms. Caldwell, 56, of Hillsborough, N.C., said she went from being able to ski, dance and work two jobs as a clinical research coordinator and a caterer to needing to stay in bed most of every day.“I haven’t been right since, and I haven’t worked a day since,” said Ms. Caldwell, whose symptoms include severe dizziness whenever her legs are not elevated.The condition has also “messed me up cognitively,” she said. “I can’t re...
How Sleep Affects Your Mood: The Link Between Insomnia and Mental Health
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How Sleep Affects Your Mood: The Link Between Insomnia and Mental Health

It started with mild anxiety.Emily, who asked to be identified only by her first name because she was discussing her mental health, had just moved to New York City after graduate school, to start a marketing job at a big law firm.She knew it was normal to feel a little on edge. But she wasn’t prepared for what came next: chronic insomnia.Operating on only three or four hours of sleep, it didn’t take long for her anxiety to ramp up: At 25, she was “freaking nervous all the time. A wreck.”When a lawyer at her firm yelled at her one day, she experienced the first of many panic attacks. At a doctor’s suggestion, she tried taking a sleeping pill, in the hopes that it might “reset” her sleep cycle and improve her mood. It didn’t work.Americans are chronically sleep deprived: one-third of adults ...
75 Hard Has a Cultish Following. Is It Worth All the Effort?
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75 Hard Has a Cultish Following. Is It Worth All the Effort?

Two 45-minute daily workouts. One gallon of water. 10 pages of a nonfiction book. A diet. No “cheat meals” or alcohol. For 75 days.And if you mess up, you have to start from the beginning.Sound like a lot? It’s supposed to be. The program, called 75 Hard, is meant to build mental toughness. Some say that rigidity is what makes it great, and others say that makes it problematic.Since it was created in 2019, 75 Hard has developed somewhat of a cult following, with practitioners posting daily progress pictures and videos that sometimes rack up millions of views on TikTok and Instagram. One of Reddit’s biggest subreddits, with over 44,000 members, is dedicated to the program.But is it beneficial, and are the changes sustainable? Psychologists say that while the program can have mental-health b...
Did You Go Through Fertility Treatment?
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Did You Go Through Fertility Treatment?

As women have begun having babies later in life, the number of patients going through in vitro fertilization treatment has increased significantly.The medical treatment can be life-changing, but it also comes at a price, as some couples go deeply into debt to pay for medical care that health insurance does not always cover. Some research has questioned the effectiveness of newer aspects of fertility treatment, like genetic screenings, and some patients have filed lawsuits claiming that faulty chemicals destroyed their embryos. Private equity companies, seeing the industry’s rapid growth, have been buying up some of the country’s largest fertility clinics.The New York Times is looking to hear from readers who can share their recent experiences with in vitro fertilization treatment. Hearing ...
Some Pregnant Women and Infants Received the Wrong R.S.V. Shots
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Some Pregnant Women and Infants Received the Wrong R.S.V. Shots

This winter, for the first time ever, there were two vaccines available to ward off respiratory syncytial virus, which is particularly dangerous to older adults and infants. Only one of them — Abrysvo, made by Pfizer — was approved for pregnant women, and neither was for young children.The distinction apparently slipped by some clinicians and pharmacists.At least 128 pregnant women were mistakenly given the alternative vaccine — Arexvy, by GSK — and at least 25 children under age 2 received a vaccination, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned. Dr. Sarah Long, a pediatric infectious disease physician and an adviser to the agency, said she was “blindsided” by the reports. “It is very upsetting that this should happen,” she said.Arexvy has not been tested in pregnant women...