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Bad Diet a Factor in 20% of All Deaths

'It is amongst the really big problems in the world'

(Newser) - Everyone dies, and frequently it's what we eat (or don't eat) that's killing us. The Guardian reports the newest results from the massive, ongoing Global Burden of Disease study show diet is a factor in one of every five deaths around the world. That means millions of... More »

How Being Lonely Can Be as Bad for Your Health as Smoking

And social isolation and loneliness may carry even more mortality risk than obesity

(Newser) - Being lonely won't just make you feel sad—it may also endanger your life. In fact, researchers now say that people steeped in social isolation (including those who live by themselves) and a lack of connection with others can suffer just as much of a mortality risk as someone... More »

Regular or Decaf, Coffee Has Major Perk

2 studies link coffee with lower mortality risk

(Newser) - "If you like to drink coffee, drink up! If you're not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start." That's the advice of a researcher at the University of Southern California, per a press release , following a pair of new studies suggesting... More »

What Our Gums Say About Our Overall Health

Having all our teeth is a very good sign

(Newser) - Don't think your oral health is as important as the health of the rest of your body? Think again. Researchers have turned to 57,000 women over age 55 in the Women's Health Initiative program to conduct the largest study of its kind on the relationship between oral... More »

The Super-Tall Tend to Die Young—but Why?

Phenomenon may be linked to how excess growth hormone affects the heart

(Newser) - Andre the Giant may be the most well-known; Neil Fingleton, who played Mag the Mighty on Game of Thrones, is the most recent . Both actors were seriously tall men who died young (Andre was 46, Fingleton 36), and Gizmodo wants to know why. The site looks into the common fate... More »

Emerging Drug-Resistant Yeast Infection Can Be Deadly

So far there appears to have been 1 infection in US, but CDC warns hospitals to be on lookout

(Newser) - There's a new drug-resistant infection on the rise, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is alerting hospitals nationwide to be on the lookout for Candida auris, a difficult-to-identify yeast infection that can prove fatal to those it infects. Though only one case has been spotted in the... More »

White Americans Dying Earlier Due to Drugs, Alcohol, Suicide

Life expectancy in whites hadn't dropped in decades

(Newser) - White Americans are living shorter lives for the first time in decades, according to a federal study released Wednesday. The New York Times reports white life expectancy dropped from 78.9 years in 2013 to 78.8 years in 2014, and the likely reasons are troubling. "For the age... More »

If You're a Woman, Trees Could Extend Your Life

Scientists say living near greenery linked to lower mortality rates in women

(Newser) - Go hug a tree—it could be lowering your mortality rate, at least if you're a woman. In a study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal, scientists analyzed questionnaires that more than 108,000 women took between 2000 and 2008 and determined that those subjects who resided in... More »

Moderate Drinking May Not Extend Life After All

Design flaws and biases found in analysis of 87 studies

(Newser) - Those of us sticking to two glasses of wine a night because of the benefits of moderate drinking may have to stop gloating: Scientists now say that moderate drinking might not help you live longer after all, NPR reports. In a study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol ... More »

Celebrated Neurologist, Author Confronts Own Death

Oliver Sacks has months to live, feels 'intensely alive'

(Newser) - Oliver Sacks, the renowned neurologist who has written best-sellers about the workings of the brain such as The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Awakenings, reveals in the New York Times today that he has only months to live because of cancer. And yet, the 81-year-old writes... More »

Why 'Death Cafes' Have Gone Global

People worldwide get together to talk human mortality

(Newser) - People around the world are meeting over tea and cakes to talk about death—in surprisingly lighthearted ways. Created by a Swiss sociologist, so-called "death cafes" are designed to give people a positive atmosphere in which to discuss all matters surrounding human mortality, Prospect Magazine reports. The concept has... More »

Argue More, Die Sooner

Study links fighting too much to early death

(Newser) - If you find yourself in frequent conflict with friends, family members, or neighbors, you might be arguing yourself into an early grave, a new study finds. Researchers say middle-aged people who have frequent arguments are two to three times more likely to die prematurely, with those who often squabble with... More »

Homophobic? You'll Die Sooner

Study finds link between anti-gay bias, shorter life expectancy

(Newser) - If you're homophobic, here's one reason to rethink that: It might send you to an earlier grave. A new study looked at social attitudes in America over two recent decades, compared them with death rates, and found that subjects with high levels of anti-gay prejudice had a life... More »

4 Surprising Things That Have Kept Us Alive

Turns out cotton is literally the fabric of our lives

(Newser) - In a piece last week on Slate , Laura Helmuth took a long and interesting look at what she dubs "the most important difference between the world today and 150 years ago": the doubling of our lifespan, from about 40 years to about 80. She looked at the big reasons... More »

The Slightly Fat Live Longer

But quality of life not as good, experts warn

(Newser) - Being obese is likely to take years off your life, but those who are just a bit overweight actually appear to have a lower risk of premature death than those of normal weight, according to a startling new study. Researchers crunched the numbers on studies involving nearly 3 million people... More »

Mild Mental Illness Increases Death Risk

Low-level disorders raise it by 16%, says study

(Newser) - In the largest study of its kind, scientists found that mild mental illness, including low-level anxiety and depression, increases the chance of an early death, reports the BBC . British scientists analyzed 68,000 people in England who died prematurely from conditions such as heart disease and cancer and found that... More »

Inactivity Killing More Than Smoking

Physical inactivity becoming global pandemic: Study

(Newser) - The people of the world need to get off their butts, scientists have concluded after an extensive review of global mortality statistics, which revealed that physical inactivity is killing more people than smoking. Researchers, declaring inactivity to be a pandemic, estimate that out of the 57 million or so deaths... More »

Inside This Billionaire's Quest for His 125th Birthday

David Murdock spending more than $500 million to unlock health secrets

(Newser) - The 87-year-old billionaire David Murdock is putting his money where his mouth is—literally, investing more than $500 million to construct the North Carolina Research Campus, a cutting edge food research center that he says will help him live to 125. Murdock, who also owns Dole, the world’s largest... More »

CT Scans Cut Lung Cancer Deaths 20%

They're better than X-rays at catching tumors early: Study

(Newser) - CT scans of smokers can detect lung cancer at an early phase and cut the death rate by 20%, says a new study. Duke University researchers found that the scans were much better than regular chest X-rays at catching tumors at a more treatable phase, reports USA Today . The results... More »

US Lags in Preventing Early Death

Obesity, smoking blamed as US falls behind in death rate before 60

(Newser) - America is lagging far behind other countries in preventing premature death among adults and now ranks behind Chile, Tunisia, and Peru, warn the authors of a new study. The researchers analyzed data on deaths before age 60 and found that over the last 20 years, the US has tumbled from... More »

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