IN THE NEWS

Conditions like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and asthma predispose patients to complications from the flu, according to NPR.

These diseases, which become more prevalent with age, make the flu life-threatening. The Center for Disease Control recommends everyone 6 months and older get the vaccine. People 65 or older, pregnant or with underlying medical conditions should get the shot as soon as possible.

According to NPR, in a typical year, about two-thirds of people 65 and older get vaccinated against the flu, compared with 45% of adults overall and 55% to 60% of children. Only about half of pregnant women, however, get vaccinated. About 30% to 40% of those with chronic diseases get the flu shot.

Though healthy people may feel sick for over a week, those with underlying medical conditions can take significantly longer to recover. Dr. MeiLan Han, professor of internal medicine in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Michigan Health System and a national spokesperson for the American Lung Association, says that 92% of adults hospitalized with the flu have a chronic condition - such as diabetes, asthma, or kidney or liver disorders.

Immunization can reduce the risk of illness and, just as importantly, helps prevent the spread of the flu. Everyone should consider getting a flu shot as soon as possible.

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STUDY SAYS

High school sports with the most concussions

A study in the Official Journal of the America Academy of Pediatrics found that the high school sports with the highest concussion rates are boys’ football, wrestling, soccer, basketball, baseball, cross country, ice hockey, lacrosse, swimming and diving, and track and field; girls’ volleyball, soccer, basketball, softball, cross country, field hockey, lacrosse, swimming and diving, and track and field; and coed cheerleading. The study included data on 9,542 concussions across 20 high school sports that occurred between the 2013-2014 and 2017-2018 school years. The data came from the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study database, or HS RIO. 63.7% of concussions occurred during competitions, however cheerleading had higher rates of concussion during practice.

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HEALTHY LIVING

“Blue zone” eating

Well and Good recently published three healthy eating habits of Blue Zone residents. Blue zones are regions of the world where Dan Buettner, National Geographic fellow and author, claims people live much longer than average. Dr. John Day, author of “The Longevity Plan,” says blue zone residents “keep it simple.” These habits include: Minimizing added sugar intake; choosing whole foods over processed foods; and tripling your vegetable intake, focusing on cruciferous and leafy greens.

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NUMBER TO KNOW

7 ½: A healthy adult would have to consume 7 1/2 bananas before reaching the daily recommended level of potassium.

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