Health

‘All in Her Head’: A Doctor Reckons With Sexism in Women’s Health Care
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‘All in Her Head’: A Doctor Reckons With Sexism in Women’s Health Care

Six years ago, Dr. Elizabeth Comen, a breast cancer specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in Manhattan, held the hand of a patient who was hours from death.As Dr. Comen leaned in for a final goodbye, she pressed her cheek to her patient’s damp face. “Then she said it,” Dr. Comen recalled.“‘I’m so sorry for sweating on you.’”In her two decades as a physician, Dr. Comen has found that women are constantly apologizing to her: for sweating, for asking follow-up questions, for failing to detect their own cancers sooner.“Women apologize for being sick or seeking care or advocating for themselves,” she said during an interview in her office: “‘I’m so sorry, but I’m in pain. I’m so sorry, this looks disgusting.’”These experiences in the exam room are part of what drove Dr. Comen to write...
Long Covid May Lead to Measurable Cognitive Decline, Study Finds
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Long Covid May Lead to Measurable Cognitive Decline, Study Finds

Long Covid may lead to measurable cognitive decline, especially in the ability to remember, reason and plan, a large new study suggests.Cognitive testing of nearly 113,000 people in England found that those with persistent post-Covid symptoms scored the equivalent of 6 I.Q. points lower than people who had never been infected with the coronavirus, according to the study, published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.People who had been infected and no longer had symptoms also scored slightly lower than people who had never been infected, by the equivalent of 3 I.Q. points, even if they were ill for only a short time.The differences in cognitive scores were relatively small, and neurological experts cautioned that the results did not imply that being infected with the coronavir...
What to Know About Lead Poisoning in Children
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What to Know About Lead Poisoning in Children

A recent outbreak of lead poisoning from cinnamon in applesauce has drawn attention to the toxic effect the heavy metal can have on children. The cinnamon in the applesauce was believed to have been intentionally contaminated, possibly to add to its value as a commodity sold by weight. It had unusually high levels of lead.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 400 children were poisoned in the applesauce outbreak. Their median blood lead levels were six times higher than the average seen during the height of the Flint water crisis, the C.D.C. said.While such poisoning cases are rare, lead is a widespread contaminant and has been under increasing scrutiny. Here’s what you need to know.How do children get exposed to lead?Paint is one of the most common and we...
What to Know About Xolair and Food Allergies
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What to Know About Xolair and Food Allergies

The Food and Drug Administration approved a drug this month that cuts the risk of severe reactions in children and adults exposed to trace amounts of peanuts, tree nuts, milk, dairy and other food allergens — a move that could dramatically improve quality of life for people coping with these risks. The results of the clinical trial supporting the decision were published on Sunday.While the drug, Xolair, offers a new layer of protection to people who may have life-threatening reactions to common foods, and especially to those who are allergic to several foods, its use comes with important caveats.Does Xolair cure food allergies?No. Xolair is not a cure for food allergies, nor can it be used to treat acute reactions. People who take Xolair must continue to avoid foods that they are allergic ...
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...
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, professor of pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine 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 ...
Old and Young, Talking Again
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Old and Young, Talking Again

On Fridays at 10 a.m., Richard Bement and Zach Ahmed sign on to their weekly video chat. The program that brought them together provides online discussion prompts and suggests arts-related activities, but the two largely ignore all that.“We just started talking about things that were important to us,” said Mr. Ahmed, 19, a pre-med student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.Since the pair met more than a year ago, conversation topics have included: Pink Floyd, in a long exploration led by Mr. Bement, 76, a retired sales manager in Milford Township, Ohio; their religious faiths (the senior conversation partner is Episcopalian; the younger is Muslim); their families; changing gender norms; and poetry, including Mr. Ahmed’s own efforts.“There’s this fallacy that these two generations can’t co...
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...
CooperSurgical’s Botched IVF Liquid Destroyed Embryos, Lawsuits Claim
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CooperSurgical’s Botched IVF Liquid Destroyed Embryos, Lawsuits Claim

CooperSurgical, a major medical supply company, is facing a wave of lawsuits from patients who claim that one of its products destroyed embryos created with in vitro fertilization.Fertility clinics across the world used the product, a nutrient-rich liquid that helps fertilized eggs develop into embryos. This week federal regulators made public that the company had recalled three lots of the liquid, which was used by clinics in November and December. The number of affected patients is unclear, although experts estimated that it is in the thousands.On Thursday, a couple in Virginia filed a lawsuit against the company, the eighth in two months from families around the United States. Collectively, the patients say they lost more than 100 embryos that had bathed in the defective product, known ...