Evidence gap: What we don’t know about health apps

smart phoneSmart phones have changed our society in a myriad of ways, making it faster and easier to communicate with each other, conduct research, access entertainment, and navigate the world.

The health care industry has also capitalized on this new technology. Today, there are dozens of apps designed to help people improve their fitness, lose weight and monitor medical conditions. But do they actually work? [Read more…]

Evidence-based dieting

obesity-300x225Here at EBL, we’ve written a lot about the health problems associated with obesity in the U.S. The good news is that an estimated 45 million Americans go on diets each year to lose excess weight. But many weight-loss programs are never evaluated in scientific studies, leading participants to spend time, energy and money on programs that are not evidence-based. [Read more…]

The link between working long hours and drinking alcohol

AlcoholI have certainly had times in my life where, at the end of the work day, all I wanted to do was have a few glasses of wine to help me relax. For some people, the ritual of having a drink or two after work becomes a habit that’s hard to break.  A systematic review published recently finds that this sort of habit can lead to unhealthy behaviors. [Read more…]

New evidence: A link between air pollution and stroke

air pollutionWe’ve had clear evidence for decades that air pollution is bad for your health, specifically your lungs and heart. The data show air pollution increases your risk of asthma, COPD and pneumonia. But a new systematic review unveils another serious risk: stroke. [Read more…]

The health effects of loneliness

lonelyMore than 25 percent of adults in the United States live alone – a cultural trend that has important implications for the health of many Americans. [Read more…]

What we know about chronic fatigue syndrome

chronic fatigue syndromeHave you heard of the disease called chronic fatigue syndrome?  It’s a condition with symptoms that include persistent fatigue (especially after any kind of physical exertion), pain, neurological problems, headaches and decreased cognitive function. [Read more…]

The science of avoiding jet lag, revisited

passenger-jet-120This week, my family is headed to England to visit my in-laws. So once again, I find myself searching for the latest proven methods for coping with jet lag. [Read more…]

What you need to know about rabies

swine-flu-vaccineWe have had a few warm days in Ithaca, and I can see some of the grass in our yard as the snow melts. Spring is on its way!  Along with the warmer days comes a downside: rabies season. [Read more…]

More evidence challenges homeopathy

Homeopathic_medicineHomeopathy is a form of alternative medicine based on the premise that “like cures like.” The idea is something that leads to disease symptoms in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in sick people. [Read more…]

New evidence about our confidence in medical care

blood-pressure-doctor-patientEvery medical treatment comes with risks of side effects and adverse events, and also a chance that it simply won’t work. Because we are each unique individuals with slightly different biological make-ups, we each react differently to medical interventions. [Read more…]