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Staying Healthy Archive


How can I avoid long COVID?

Tens of millions of people who've had COVID-19 suffer with persisting symptoms. The condition is called long COVID. Symptoms, such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and disrupted sleep, can seriously impair the ability to function at work and at home. Vaccines and antiviral drugs appear to offer some protection against getting long COVID. But more information is needed. The National Institutes of Health has committed over $1 billion to discover how to better diagnose, effectively treat, and ultimately prevent long COVID.

What is considered a healthy body fat percentage as you age?

While there is no agreed-upon normal range for body fat, most men ages 60 to 79 should aim for 13% to 24% body fat. Measuring waist and hip size can provide an estimate of how much dangerous belly fat a person carries.

The (almost) last word on alcohol and health

Research into the health benefits of alcohol has not provided a clear answer. Some findings suggest that alcohol helps protect against heart disease and lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes, and drinkers tend to live longer than nondrinkers. Other studies say these benefits are less clear. If you don't drink alcohol now, there are no health reasons to start drinking. If you do enjoy it, it's best to have no more than 2 drinks in the same day.

Study finds dog walking injuries are increasing

A 2023 study noted a sharp rise in injuries (from 2001 to 2020) among people who walked dogs on leashes. Dog walkers most commonly suffered broken fingers, shoulder sprains, and traumatic brain injuries.

Don't get duped: Here's how to avoid online pharmacy risks

The vast majority of online pharmacies are rife with risks. They might sell medications that are expired, fake, or contain harmful ingredients. Before ordering from an online pharmacy, one should look it up on the Buy Safely tool from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) to make sure the pharmacy is verified. One can also look for a symbol on a pharmacy website indicating that it's earned NABP accreditation. The symbol resembles a vertical infinity sign (like the number 8) inside a red circle, and the words "NABP Accredited Digital Pharmacy."

More evidence that aging might be reversible

A 2023 study found that when the blood supply of an old mouse was connected to a young mouse, the organs of the young mouse aged dramatically. When they were disconnected, the aging reversed. Similar changes have been observed in humans with certain conditions.

The secret to finding a primary care provider: Be flexible

People hunting for a new primary care provider may have a hard time finding a doctor who's taking new patients. But a number of primary care providers can do the job, including four types of physicians and two types of advanced practitioners. Doctors who provide primary care include internal medicine specialists, med-peds physicians, family practice doctors, and geriatricians. Advanced practitioners who provide primary care include nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Experts say the type of provider isn't as important as simply having a primary care provider in place.

Keep midday naps to less than 30 minutes

Research supports the health benefits of taking afternoon naps, but they should last less than 30 minutes, according to a 2023 study.

Staying safe while getting well

Preventable adverse medical events occur in up to 7% of hospital admissions and sometimes can lead to serious and even life-threatening complications. Examples include inaccurate medications, unexpected infections, and problems during surgery. To help protect yourself from these events in the hospital, have a trusted partner be with you as much as possible, inquire about each of your medications when offered, and work with your nurse to move around safely.

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