Age-related hearing loss is one of the most common health disorders of aging, affecting two-thirds of those over age 70. While hearing loss previously had been linked to higher rates of cognitive decline, a new study finds that this decline may start much earlier than previously thought.
Researchers at Columbia University found that even the earliest stage of hearing loss — when hearing is still considered normal — also is linked to loss of cognitive function. Continue reading
Do you wrestle with ways to illustrate numbers when writing about vaccines?
Dr. Gretchen LaSalle, a family physician in Spokane, Wash., recently offered some ways to do this effectively in a blog post called Vaccine Data: Do the Math.
LaSalle skillfully highlights two examples of how numbers can be used. In one example, related to flu figures, she suggests how real-life context can make the risks of the flu more obvious. In another example, related to measles data, she underscores how numbers can be used to mislead. Continue reading
The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has made changes to the way they present their recommendations in hopes of making them more user-friendly for physicians. The result also is clearer and easier to follow for journalists and consumers too.
The changes, outlined in the September issue of JAMA, include better use plain language, making the recommendations more easily scannable and emphasizing top-line recommendations without repetitive or marginally relevant information. You still can get the nitty-gritty details of a recommendation and supporting evidence from the site, but for those needing a quick summary, it’s now easier to find what you need. Continue reading
Photo: Let Ideas Compete via Flickr Wearing medical masks to help prevent disease is common throughout China and the rest of Asia.
The novel coronavirus from China that had infected at least 634 people as of early today has led some media to report about the potential of a pandemic.
Reporters localizing the story for their audiences should be able to answer these questions: When does an infectious disease outbreak become a pandemic, and is it likely with this virus? How worried should Americans be? Continue reading
Photo: UTHealthUTHealth’s Shuo-Hsiu (James) Chang, PT, Ph.D., center, and CCNY’s Hao Su, Ph.D., are testing a mobility device for seniors.
A new line of wearable robotics could keep seniors on their feet a lot longer.
Think of it as a lightweight version of the armor that comic book hero Tony Stark dons as Iron Man when he fights villains. What we’re talking about are exoskeletons.
A prototype developed at City University of New York (CCNY) and tested at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) fared well in a pilot study of people with walking difficulties. Continue reading
Neglected tropical diseases, a group of parasitic, bacterial and viral infectious diseases that primarily affect the poorest countries in the world, also can spread in some of the most impoverished communities in the United States.
Vice News reporter Arielle Duhaime-Ross brought attention to this little known fact in “Scientists think Alabama’s sewage problem has caused a tropical parasite. The state has done little about it,” which won the National Association of Science Writers’ 2019 Science in Society Journalism Award. Continue reading