Welcome to your daily roundup of important health news
Every day, an estimated 6,800 new peer-reviewed academic articles are published. That’s a whole lot of science to wade through—but don’t fret. We’ll do the legwork for you, each and every morning. Here’s your daily dose of the latest discoveries from journals, research institutions, and news outlets from around the world.
Don’t Ignore That Shoulder PainYour bum shoulder might be hinting at something more serious than a sloppy bench press technique: People at higher risk of heart problems are more likely to report shoulder issues like pain or rotator cuff issues, too, a study in Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicinefound. So talk to your doctor about your shoulder issues—they may be hinting at heart disease risk factors you may need to get under control.
Discover the Most Expensive Health ConditionsResearchers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation discovered that we spent $2.1 trillion on health care in 2013—and only 20 problems accounted for half of all spending. The most expensive condition? Diabetes topped the list, with an estimated $101.4 billion in spending. Heart disease, low back pain and neck pain, treatment for high blood pressure, and falls rounded out the top 5, the new study in JAMA detailed.
Get Your Flu Shot NowExperts recommend you get your flu shot in the fall, before flu season really ramps up. But if you haven’t gotten pricked yet, do it now: Cases of flu often spike during and right after the holidays, as gatherings and travel bring lots of people in closer proximity to each other, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told HealthDay. And pick a morning slot for your appointment. The vaccine may be more effective earlier in the day, as we reported previously.
Look Toward a Cancer-Free FutureCancer remains the second leading cause of death for men, and even though the government spends $5 billion a year on the disease, it hasn’t been cured yet. But leading experts in the field are making strides to treating it. The folks at MedPage Today asked oncologists across the country what they believed were the top advances in cancer in 2016, and a few common threads appeared: Immunotherapy—which uses your body’s own immune system to fight cancer— CAR T-Cell therapy—a type of targeted treatment—and lifestyle interventions rounded out the top 5 cancer developments this year.
Check the Scale At CollegeThe Freshman 15 might not be a total myth after all: The average student gains about 10 pounds over 4 years of college, researchers from the University of Vermont discovered. And by the end of college, 78 percent more students qualified as overweight or obese, which puts them at much greater risk of health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, the researchers say.