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Health & Fitness

  • Approved insect repellants can be recommended "without reservation" during pregnancy

    Approved insect repellants can be recommended "without reservation" during pregnancy

    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends that pregnant women use the approved insect repellants - N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET) and the pyrethroid permethrin - as a key element in a multipronged approach for...

  • In extreme heat, fans may not benefit some elderly

    In extreme heat, fans may  not benefit some elderly

    Elderly people who use electric fans during extreme heat may have higher heart rates and core temperatures compared to having no fan, according to a small study. For younger people, using a fan delays elevations in heart rate and core temperature...

  • Regular physical activity ‘can cancel out’ diseases caused by too much drinking

    Regular physical activity ‘can cancel out’ diseases caused by too much drinking

    Regular exercise could cancel out the risk of death from serious illnesses linked to alcohol, research has shown. A study found that moderate physical activity counteracts the “biological disease pathways” of high alcohol intake, which can lead to...

  • I have Zika, and I have more questions than answers

    I have Zika, and I have more questions than answers

    It began with what felt like a punch in the throat. I assumed it was irritation from the cigar I'd smoked on my deck that afternoon in mid-June. But the sensation hung on. Within three days, I had a 38.9 degrees Celsius fever, chills and...

  • The real gym survival guide

    I have spent so many years working in gyms that I admit I honestly forgot what it’s like to be on the other side. Being a member of a gym can be a wonderful and fruitful experience and most of us will have heard about the numerous benefits it can...

  • Statins’ benefits understated and their harms exaggerated

    Statins’ benefits understated and their harms exaggerated

    Scientists warn that the number of  people who avoid heart attacks and strokes by taking statin therapy is much higher than the number who suffer side effects Statins are safe and effective but their potential side effects have been exaggerated by...

  • When an airport scanner sees a cyst as a security threat

    When an airport scanner sees a cyst as a security threat

    A traveller with a bulge in their body from a cyst or hernia might get flagged for an invasive airport security screening to look for explosives, a case report suggests. In many larger airports, X-rays have been replaced in recent years by...

  • Conceiving in your late 30s

    Conceiving in your late 30s

    A woman’s fertility declines as she gets older, however, maternal age is increasing. Obstetrician and gynaecologist Dorianne Spiteri tells Stephanie Fsadni about the potential consequences of late pregnancies but reassures her that most...

  • FDA bans some antibacterial soaps, saying they are ineffective

    FDA bans some antibacterial soaps, saying they are ineffective

    The US Food and Drug Administration has banned some over-the-counter antibacterial hand and body wash products, saying they are no more effective than soap and water and could cause long-term harm. The move affects 2,100 products, or roughly 40...

  • Woman who got world's first face transplant dies at 49

    Woman who got world's first face transplant dies at 49

    A Frenchwoman who received the world's first partial face transplant has died, 11 years after the surgery that set the stage for dozens of other transplants worldwide. The Amiens University Hospital in northern France announced Isabelle Dinoire's...

  • Face transplant survey data doesn't look good

    Face transplant survey data doesn't look good

    There are few long-term studies of people who've had face transplants, and even the addition of another study of seven cases does not answer all questions about safety and efficacy of the procedure, say the authors of a new report. "Ultimately, if...

  • Laser pointers can cause irreversible vision loss for kids

    Laser pointers can cause irreversible vision loss for kids

    Used incorrectly, laser pointers can damage the retina of the eye and may cause some irreversible vision loss, according to researchers who treated four boys for these injuries. Doctors, teachers and parents should be aware that this can happen,...

  • New horizons for health

    New horizons for health

    Mobile apps and web-based programmes do help people reach health goals like exercising more, losing weight and quitting smoking, but studies need to follow-up longer to see how sustainable these interventions are, according to a recent review of...

  • ‘Please have your symptoms ready…

    ‘Please have your symptoms ready…

    …to save the doctor’s time.” So read a notice in a family doctor’s waiting room. The considerate patient knows that the art of medicine is for the doctor and not the patient, of course. The doctor must elicit symptoms and mentally arrange them in...

  • Standing is the new sitting

    Standing is the new sitting

    Last week I touched on the benefits of standing at your desk. To expand on that prospect, it seems that sitting has been recognised as the new health hazard. It has even been stated that sitting is the ‘new smoking’ in terms of health hazards. It...

  • Go on, ride the waves

    Go on, ride the waves

    With another Olympic flame extinguished, we Maltese are once again left wondering if even the smallest spark of podium glory could ever ignite for us. Which sport will yield Malta’s first ever Olympic medal, and when? What sort of national pride...

  • Laser pointers can cause irreversible vision loss for kids

    Laser pointers can cause irreversible vision loss for kids

    Used incorrectly, laser pointers can damage the retina of the eye and may cause some irreversible vision loss, according to researchers who treated four boys for these injuries. Doctors, teachers and parents should be aware that this can happen,...

  • Balancing benefits and risks

    Balancing benefits and risks

    Women taking combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are 2.7 times more likely to develop breast cancer than non-users, and the risk may increase with longer use, a study published in the British Journal of Cancer has found. Those taking...

  • Migrants lured by sex into Egypt's backstreet kidney trade, says report

    Migrants lured by sex into Egypt's backstreet kidney trade, says report

    Brokers in Egypt's underground trade in human body parts use prostitutes to tempt migrants to sell their kidneys as hospitals turn a blind eye to illicit dealing in donated organs for transplants, a report says. Undocumented African migrants...

  • Florida finds Zika in trapped mosquitoes for first time

    Florida finds Zika in trapped mosquitoes for first time

    Authorities in Florida have found the Zika virus in three groups of trapped mosquitoes in Miami Beach, the first time this has happened in the continental United States. The Zika-carrying mosquitoes were trapped in a 1.5-square-mile area of Miami...

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