5 Things We’re Reading on Improving Health

A look at the flu season so far and the effects two types of screens can have on our health can be found in this week’s five health-related reads.

Too much screen time can damage children’s eyesight …

When school-aged kids spend seven or more hours a week watching a screen, they triple their risk for nearsightedness, a new study found. CBS News breaks down the findings.

… And too many screenings have misled our understanding of cancer

A new paper argues some cancer screenings may misguide clinicians as to what the risk factors are for certain cancers. “Detecting cancers that would never become apparent is screwing up our understanding of risk factors,” the study’s co-author told STAT News. Read the full piece here.

Americans are dying earlier — what’s to blame?

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows life expectancy in the U.S. fell more than a month from 2015 to 2016, while “the rest of the world is seeing large declines in mortality and large improvements in life expectancy,” one expert told USA Today. The opioid epidemic may be partly to blame. Read the full story here.

Flu season off to a fast and deadly start

There have been three times as many flu cases reported so far this flu season compared to this point last season; and 12 children have died from the viral disease. It’s not too late to get your flu shot. NBC Nightly News breaks down the numbers.

Worldwide measles deaths reach all-time low

Measles killed 89,780 people across the world in 2016, marking the first time ever measles deaths totaled fewer than 100,000 in a year, according to the World Health Organization. Experts praise widespread use of the measles vaccine as the cause. Read more from The New York Times.

 

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health care system work better?

Interested in ways we can make the health care system work better?