Opioid painkillers may temporarily ease the discomfort of arthritis, but they have no clear lasting benefit, a research review finds. In an analysis of 23 clinical trials, researchers found that, on average, opioid medications were somewhat effective at easing pain in patients with osteoarthritis. That’s the common form of arthritis in which cartilage cushioning the…  read on >

A commonly prescribed muscle relaxant known as baclofen can leave older kidney patients so disoriented that they land in the hospital, a new study warns. “It can present with acute stroke-like symptoms, even though it’s not a stroke,” said senior researcher Dr. Amit Garg, a professor of nephrology at Western University in Ontario, Canada. “It…  read on >

Nearly nine in 10 American adults lose sleep to binge watch TV, a new survey finds. The more than 2,000 U.S. adults who took part in the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) poll in September ranked sleep as their second-highest priority, with family being first. But despite considering sleep important, 88% said they’d stayed…  read on >

Speaking outside the White House on Friday, President Donald Trump said his administration plans to raise the U.S. federal legal age to buy e-cigarettes from 18 to 21. That’s just one plank in the administration’s new plan to curb youth vaping, Trump told reporters. “We have to take care of our kids, most importantly, so…  read on >

Mailing self-sampling kits to test for the cervical cancer-causing virus HPV significantly increased screening rates for the cancer, according to a new study. The research included nearly 20,000 women in the Kaiser Permanente Washington (state) system who hadn’t been screened for cervical cancer in more than three years. About half got an HPV (human papillomavirus)…  read on >

The popular herbal supplement kratom may cause liver damage, researchers warn. Kratom is widely available in smoke shops and online. It’s a botanical product made from Mitragyna speciosa, a tropical evergreen tree found in Southeast Asia. At low doses, it’s a stimulant. At high doses, it has an opioid-like effect. Use of kratom has risen…  read on >

Mass shootings, health care and the 2020 presidential election are significant causes of stress for American adults, a new survey finds. The poll of more than 3,600 U.S. adults found that 71% of them said mass shootings are a major source of stress, an increase from 62% in 2018. Hispanics were most likely to say…  read on >

Immediate skin-to-skin contact between newborns and their mothers is encouraged, but poses some potential risks in cases of cesarean birth, researchers say. In a new report, the researchers described two cases where newly delivered babies came into contact with electrodes on the mothers’ skin that were used to monitor her vital signs during C-section surgery.…  read on >

Proper hand-washing with soap and water is one of the best ways to protect yourself during the cold and flu season, an expert says. Wet your hands with water, add soap, cover all surfaces, and rub vigorously for about 20 seconds. That advice comes from Dr. Roland Newman II, a family medicine physician at Penn…  read on >