<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Health News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/health http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.comen-usMon, 24 Apr 2017 22:28:34 -0500Mon, 24 Apr 2017 22:28:34 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[CVS, Starbucks and the Love-Hate Relationship With Sugar ]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 09:46:39 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CVS-Starbcucks.jpg

Healthy foods are taking real estate from candy at some CVS stores, the store chain announced Thursday, a response to changing customer preferences and shopping habits, NBC News reported.

In CVS Pharmacy's new store prototype there's less space for sugary snacks, particularly at the front of the store, where healthier food, vitamins, supplements and cosmetics with more natural ingredients will be displayed.

"It seems pretty clear that CVS has a fairly serious approach to trying to create a healthier environment in its stores," said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University, pointing to its 2014 decision to stop selling tobacco products.

But she and other food branding experts note that health food labeling can mislead or misdirect consumers, too. The fancifully colored "Unicorn" Frappuccino from Starbucks could have as much as 76 grams of sugar, because Starbucks is known more for coffee than milkshakes.



Photo Credit: CVS Handout, AP]]>
<![CDATA[Sweet Drinks Linked to Dementia: Study]]> Thu, 20 Apr 2017 17:26:51 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/NC_drinksdementia0420_1500x845.jpg

Don't be so fast to finish that soda. The latest report from the Framingham Heart Study found that people who frequently drink sodas and fruit juices are more likely to have a poorer memory and less brain volume. Additionally, people who drink artificial sweeteners were three times as likely to develop both strokes and dementia. 

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<![CDATA[Marathons May Delay Medical Care for Non-Runners]]> Thu, 13 Apr 2017 08:06:10 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/20151006+Marine+Corps+Marathon1.jpg Marathons can be risky for hearts, but not necessarily those of the runners. It takes longer for nearby residents to get to a hospital for emergency heart care on the day of a race and they're less likely to survive, a U.S. study finds.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Most Popular Easter Candies Ranked by Nutrition]]> Thu, 13 Apr 2017 08:21:44 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-57339112.jpg

'Tis the season for dyeing Easter eggs — and snacking on chocolate ones. Worried you'll wreck your healthy eating streak come Easter Sunday on April 16?

NBC News sized up the nutrition labels of some of the most popular Easter candies, with a strong focus on calories, fat and sugar content per serving — as well as the serving size.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs top the list at only 90 calories and 8 grams of sugar per serving. Health-conscious snackers can also choose Tootsie Easter Egg Shaped Pops, which rank at No. 2.

Brach’s Tiny Jelly Bird Eggs round out NBC’s list at No. 9, with 250 calories and a whopping 53 grams of sugar per serving.



Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fresh Express Recalls Packaged Salad After Bat Found: CDC]]> Mon, 10 Apr 2017 07:24:22 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-71902781.jpg

Fresh Express recalled some of its prepackaged salad mix after a dead bat was found inside a container sold in a Florida Wal-mart, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Two people said they found a dead bat in their purchased package, and that they had eaten some of the salad before discovering the animal, according to a CDC statement

The center added that the bat was sent to its lab to be tested for rabies, but the animal's deteriorated condition did not allow for a conclusive test.

Wal-Mart removed the product from its store shelves.

The company on Saturday announced a recall of a limited quantity of its 5-ounce Organic Marketside Spring Mix packages. The salads were sold in a clear container with production code G089B19 and best-if-used-by date of April 14, 2017. The announcement said the recalled packages were only distributed to Wal-mart stores located in the Southeastern region of the United States.

As a precaution, the pair who ate the salad were recommended to undergo rabies treatment. However, the CDC said transmission of the disease by eating a rabid animal is "extremely uncommon."

"Both people report being in good health and neither has any signs of rabies," the CDC said in the statement.

Consumers who ate salad from recalled packages without animal matter are not at risk, the CDC added.

Still, Fresh Express advised anyone who has purchased the recalled product to throw it out and not eat it. Those who have questions or wish to receive a full refund for their purchase can call the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center 1-800-242-5472 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

The CDC said it is working with the Florida Department of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to support an investigation of the incident.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Woman's Blood Leads to Potential Treatment for Ebola Cousin]]> Sat, 08 Apr 2017 16:39:49 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_383650526882.jpg

A woman came back from a trip to the Uganda jungle with Marburg virus, a cousin of Ebola that's even deadlier, NBC News reported.

Now, Michelle Barnes' blood has a provided a potential cure for the infection.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University and Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. isolated an especially potent immune system protein called a monoclonal antibody from Barnes and have used it to cure monkeys infected not only with Marburg virus, but with a related virus called Ravn.

They are working to find ways to mass-produce the antibody and test it in people.

The hope is to have supplies ready in case of outbreaks of viruses like Marburg and Ebola, which killed more than 11,000 people and sickened 28,000 in a 2014-2016 epidemic in West Africa.

"If somebody needed to get Marburg virus so you could donate your cells for research, I am glad it was me," Barnes said. "I happen to have really good immunity."



Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ben Curtis]]>
<![CDATA[Cancer-Causing HPV Virus Affects 1 in 4 US Men: Study]]> Thu, 06 Apr 2017 12:57:32 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/vaccine-AP_701393247962.jpg

New government statistics show that 25 percent of men have the strain of HPV (human papillomavirus or human wart virus) that causes cancer, NBC News reported.

Twenty percent of women have the same strain as well, and 45 percent of men have some kind of genital HPV, according to new data from the National Center for Health Statistics. People under 25 are able to receive a vaccine that can protect them from cancer-causing HPV strains, but for the rest of the population, the virus is still an issue.

Neck and head cancer are some of the implications of HPV, and some experts say that 70 percent of all head and neck cancers are caused by HPV, most likely spread through oral sex.

"Human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States," wrote the team at the NCHS, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Photo Credit: John Amis/AP, File ]]>
<![CDATA[People With Chronic Pain Scared by Ohio's New Opioid Rules]]> Thu, 06 Apr 2017 05:38:37 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_16273781823723oxy.jpg

People dealing with chronic pain say recent moves by Ohio's governor to fight the plague of opioid overdoses could leave them suffering, NBC News reported.

Gov. John Kasich restricted how many painkillers may be prescribed to patients, but people who rely on the drugs say the rules could force them to go underground to find relief from their anguish.

"We are being punished for being in pain," said Amy Monahan-Curtis, 44, who has been living in agony since 1993 due to a condition called cervical dystonia, which causes her neck muscles to contract involuntarily.

She doesn't believe assurances from officials that the rules only apply to acute pain, not chronic pain.



Photo Credit: Toby Talbot/AP]]>
<![CDATA[1 in 10 US Pregnant Women With Zika Have Babies With Defects]]> Tue, 04 Apr 2017 18:59:22 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/zikamosquito_1200x675.jpg

About 1 out of 10 women in the United States who tested positive for the Zika infection had a fetus or baby with Zika-related birth defects, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The CDC's Vital Signs report is the first to provide an analysis of a subgroup of 250 pregnant women in the U.S. with confirmed test results of Zika virus infection. Zika testing remains complex because there is a narrow timeframe for obtaining a positive laboratory result, and many infected people do not show symptoms, the CDC said. 

The lack of motivation for testing led the CDC to monitor all pregnant women with any evidence of recent Zika infection. In 2016, nearly 1,000 pregnant women from the 44 states who completed their pregnancies had some evidence of a recent Zika infection and were at risk of having a fetus or baby with Zika-related birth defects.

Most of the women acquired Zika during travel to an area where the virus was known to be present.

“Zika virus can be scary and potentially devastating to families. Zika continues to be a threat to pregnant women across the U.S.,” CDC acting director Anne Schuchat said in a statement. “With warm weather and a new mosquito season approaching, prevention is crucial to protect the health of mothers and babies. Healthcare providers can play a key role in prevention efforts.”

Zika infection during pregnancy can cause serious damage to the brain and microcephaly in developing fetuses. It also can lead to congenital Zika syndrome in babies, a pattern of birth defects that includes brain abnormalities, vision problems, hearing loss, and problems moving limbs. Babies may also appear healthy at birth but have underlying brain defects or other Zika-related health problems, the CDC said.

The report found Zika still poses a serious risk during pregnancy and it's important for pregnant women to continue taking steps to prevent exposure to the virus through mosquito bites and sexual transmission.

Nearly 1,300 pregnant women with evidence of possible Zika infection were reported to the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry from Jan. 15 to Dec. 27, 2016. Of the 1,000 pregancies completed by the end of the year, more than 50 had Zika-related birth defects. 

Confirmed infections in the first trimester posed the higest risk with 15 percent of those fetuses or babies having Zika-related birth defects, the report found. 

The CDC's registry data included all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and territories except Puerto Rico. The Zika Active Pregnancy Surveillance System is a separate system to monitor pregnancies in Puerto Rico.

In Puerto Rico, over 39,000 cases were confirmed last year and over 3,000 women confirmed with Zika infection were pregnant. Almost 400 pregnant women were hospitalized and the Zika infection led to 5 recorded deaths, according to the Puerto Rico’s health department.

Last week, the Puerto Rico Department of Health, who has worked with the CDC to combat Zika infections in Puerto Rico, showed in recent results a dramatic, continuing decline of the Zika virus. Currently, there are no pregnant women who are infected with the Zika virus and the number of infected women and men, combined is under 3000. 

Peggy Honein with the CDC's Zika Response team said that many babies born to mothers with possible Zika infection "are not receiving brain imaging after birth to help diagnose serious brain defects.” She called for healthcare providers to ask about possible Zika exposure when caring for pregnant women and their babies. 

The CDC recommended healthcare providers also educate families on Zika prevention, provide all needed tests and follow-up care and support babies and families.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mylan Hit With Racketeering Suit Over Price Hikes of EpiPen]]> Mon, 03 Apr 2017 14:25:02 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/epipen1.jpg

Mylan was slapped Monday with a class-action racketeering lawsuit that claims the company overcharged patients as part of an illegal scheme to secure sales, CNBC reported.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, alleges the "skyrocketing" list price of EpiPen was the result of the drugmaker's payments of rebates to pharmacy benefit managers — including CVS Caremark, Express Scripts and Optum Rx — which handle prescription drug benefit programs for insurance plans.

The suit noted when EpiPen prices were increasing most dramatically, other companies tried to introduce competing devices. But those companies never succeeded in displacing Epipen's market dominance because Mylan paid pharmacy benefit managers higher rebates, the suit said.

The suit claims violations of consumer protection laws of all U.S. states, as well as a violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act.

A spokeswoman for Mylan had no immediate comment on the lawsuit.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Study Finds Link Between Slow Breathing, Brain Cells]]> Fri, 31 Mar 2017 13:10:57 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/95570861.jpg

One common way to calm down is to breathe slower, and brain researchers say they've figured out how that works, "Today" reported.

A Stanford-led study of mice found that cells in the brain stem linked to mood and activity are triggered when the animal breathes slowly.

"There are many distinct types of breaths: regular, excited, sighing, yawning, gasping, sleeping, laughing, sobbing," said Mark Krasnow, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute biochemistry professor at Stanford University who oversaw the study. "We wondered if different subtypes of neurons within the respiratory control center might be in charge of generating these different types of breath."

The researchers are hopeful their findings, reported in the journal Science, can lead to therapies for stress, depression and more, even a better way to prevent sudden infant death syndrome.



Photo Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images, FIle]]>
<![CDATA[How to Take a Shower, According to Dermatologists]]> Fri, 31 Mar 2017 06:22:47 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-71429160.jpg

Too much hot water can actually be bad for our bodies, experts in hair and skin care told NBC News. Several dermatologists were asked to weigh in on the definitive way to take a shower.

1. Don't Shower Too Often

How often you should shower depends on your activity level — our experts say there's no hard-and-fast rule. But if you're not active, you can cut back to a few times a week.

2. Keep It Short

Water exposure can lead to dry skin and hair. A longer shower also "gives the water a chance to allow any cleansers to be more damaging," says Dr. Jessica Krant, a board-certified dermatologist.

3. Stay Cool

Hot water strips away natural oils and damages the skin faster, so stick to a lukewarm — or cooler — shower.

4. Don't Wash Your Hair Too Much

Hair is made of dead skin cells — it just doesn't need as much washing as the rest of our skin.

5. But Don't Wash Too Little, Either

Washing hair less often has become such a trend that dermatologists say some people are overdoing it, causing a scalp buildup of dandruff.

6. Focus on the Dirtiest Areas

Your arms and legs don't always need soap. For a quick shower, focus on your underarms, groin and feet.



Photo Credit: China Photos/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Larger Than Life Lesson: Raising Awareness for Colon Cancer]]> Wed, 29 Mar 2017 18:38:32 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000022852629_1200x675_909561923578.jpg

A giant, larger than life exhibit aims to educate visitors on colorectal cancer prevention and early detection. Kalee Dionne reports.

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<![CDATA[Mom Tells Son's Story in Fight for NIH Funding]]> Tue, 28 Mar 2017 22:43:50 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/220*120/2017-03-28_2340.png

Pediatric cancer research is one of the least funded and proposed budget cuts to NIH will deplete it even more. A family whose child died from pediatric cancer is testifying on Capitol Hill Wednesday, March 29, to save the funding. Tammi and Jason Carr in Michigan founded the ChadTough Foundation to honor their son Chad, who died at age 5 after battling a brain tumor. News4’s Shomari Stone reports. 



Photo Credit: Tammy Carr]]>
<![CDATA[José Olé Taquitos Recalled for Possible Rubber, Plastic]]> Tue, 28 Mar 2017 07:54:45 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/jose-ole-taquitos.jpg

Ajinomoto Windsor, Inc. is recalling more than 35,000 pounds of frozen "José Olé" taquito products that may be contaminated with rubber and plastic, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. 

The Lampasas-based company recalled 60-ounce packages of the frozen beef taquitos produced on Dec. 30, 2016. The recalled items include the case codes 3366365A, 3366365B, 3366365C and 3366365D and a "best by" date of Dec. 30, 2017.

The company initiated the recall after receiving two complaints of foreign material in its ready-to-eat beef products earlier this month. The foreign materials were pieces of rubber with white plastic that originated from the establishments processing equipment.

According to the USDA, there have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

The items were shipped to retail locations in California, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wyoming and Texas.

Consumers who have purchased this product are urged to throw it away or return it to the place of purchase.



Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture]]>
<![CDATA[Robot Helps Boy Go to School]]> Sat, 25 Mar 2017 02:10:33 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Max+Robot.jpg

Despite a degenerative disease that makes going to school a life-threatening situation, a three-year-old Maryland boy attends classes every day thanks to technology allowing him to connect with his classmates, make friends and even join them for lunch.

Max Lasko and his mother operate a Beam telepresence robot from home, several miles from school.

“When Max first started, every time Max would beam in on the robot, they would be really excited and yell, ‘It's the robot! It's the robot!’” teacher Allyson Levine said. “But after about a week or two, it became, ‘Max is here.’”

Max was born with spinal muscular atrophy, which makes it difficult for him to move, breathe and eat. He can’t be in a classroom for fear of catching a cold or flu, which could be life-threatening for him.

“We felt that it was really important -- since Max's cognition is fully intact, his social intelligence is fully intact -- we wanted him to be able to interact with his peers but we wanted to do so safely,” said his mother, Kristen Lasko.

Max's mother is a teacher, and his father, Jonathan Lasko, is a computer scientist. They applied for and won a grant to cover the costs of the robot, and they asked the Bender Jewish Community Center in Rockville to accept Max into class.

“What our role is is just to be accepting of everyone,” said Ora Cohen Rosenfeld, head of the Bender JCC Early Childhood Center. “And I think this is teaching our children to see Max as a child just as they are with the same needs. He’s different and yet he's very much the same.”

Max is on a ventilator, and his mother puts "angel arms" on him so he can move his hands and participate in activities like coloring for a friend’s birthday picture book.

Max vocalizes but lacks strength for articulation. His mother understands everything he says.

Asked what he wants to be when he grows up, Max surprised his mother when he replied he wants to be a teacher like she is.

“A teacher?” his mother reacted. “You want to be a teacher? I didn’t know that. Wow.”

“I’m glad he has these teachers as role models,” Jonathan Lasko said. “He's looking ahead and imagining himself in the role of teacher, and just like any of us, he's not going to let his different abilities get in the way of doing what he is passionate about.”



Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Forces a Vote on Health Care Bill ]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:18:44 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/HealthCareAM0324_MP4-149036463772500001.jpg

President Trump has issued an ultimatum to House Republicans on the health care bill designed to repeal and replace "Obamacare": vote today or no deal. If there's no deal, then Obamacare stands. In the option on the table, conservatives want to get rid of guaranteed coverage for maternity leave, mental health and emergencies. Some 32 Republicans were ready to vote no, enough to keep the bill from passing, but jockeying for support continued Friday ahead of the vote.

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