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Religious People Live Longer

Self-reported attendance at religious services is linked with longevity.

Ohio State University scientists have examined two samples of more than 1600 obituaries looking for religion, marital status and social activities. They found religious people lived an average of 5.64 years longer than nonbelievers. When controlled for gender and marital status the advantage was 3.82 years. Religious values, prayer and mediation, and volunteerism may all help contribute to this advantage.

PositiveTip: Involvement in religious groups may extend your life!

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Marijuana Addiction Growing

It is estimated that 2.7 million Americans are dependent on marijuana.

A Pew Charitable Trust investigation found that marijuana addiction does exist and is growing. While hard numbers are hard to come by, data suggests about 9% of all users become addicted to marijuana (17% among those who start as adolescents). Some treatment centers report increases in those requesting help which may be due to higher concentrations of THC levels. Selective breeding has increased the potency today to 20-30%, up from 2-4% of several decades ago.

PositiveTip: The best policy is to never start, but if you are dependent, get qualified help immediately.

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Suicide Rates Rising

Forty-nine states saw significant increases in suicide rates in the last two decades.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report the suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by almost 25% between 1999 and 2016. North Dakota and Vermont saw the highest increases and Delaware the lowest. Nevada was the outlier with a slight decrease. Rates for both men and women are increasing, and more than 50% of people who committed suicide had no known mental health conditions.

PositiveTip: Know someone depressed, anxious, and abusing substances? Please encourage them to see a mental health professional immediately.

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Sad Facts of Opioids

Opioid deaths are higher than those due to hypertension, pneumonia and HIV/AIDS combined.

You hear a lot about this on the news. Deaths attributable to opioids have increased by 292% in the last 15 years. These amounted to 1.68 million person-years of life in 2016 alone--higher than those due to hypertension, pneumonia and HIV/AIDS. During 2016, 20% of young adult (aged 24-35 years) deaths involved opioids

PositiveTip: There are good medical reasons to use opioids in certain circumstances for short time periods, but using them recreationally in combination with other substances can be deadly.

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Don't Leave a Child Trapped in a Car!

Six children have died this year in the U.S. from being left in hot cars.

With summer in the northern hemisphere arriving soon it is important to recognize the dangers of leaving a child, elderly adult, or pet in an overheated parked car. According to researchers, if the car is parked in the sun, interior temperature can reach 116 degrees F (46.6 C) and the dashboard can reach 165 degrees F (73.8 C) in one hour. This is enough time for a young child to suffer fatal hyperthermia. (See a diagram of car temperatures.)

PositiveTip: Never leave a helpless person or pet trapped in an unattended vehicle in the sun.

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Soundwaves to Cure Ebola! Really?

Don't let your logic be diluted by nonsense.

A California physician faces the revocation of his medical license for selling $5 MP3 files that he claims can cure Ebola, malaria, and a many other infections. These 13-second "eRemedy" recordings are made by placing vials of homeopathic remedies in electrified wire coils and recording the emitted sounds. He even claims to have cured Ebola via a cellphone. Of course, listening to these recordings might delay actual medical treatment.

PositiveTip: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

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Synthetic Cannabinoids Linked to Severe Bleeding

Use of synthetic cannabinoids following injury or surgery may result in severe bleeding.

Five people have died and more than 202 people have developed severe bleeding linked with the use of synthetic cannabinoids found to be laced with rat poison. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning saying these drugs, sold under a variety of names including K2 and Spice, have been contaminated with brodifacoum, a very deadly anticoagulant used in rodent poison.

PositiveTip: For maximum safety, do not use any synthetic cannabinoids.

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A Blueprint to Beat Cancer

You can significantly lower your risk of cancer.

Yesterday, the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Fund released the newest edition of Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: A Global Perspective. While this authoratative report is over 12,000 pages, the recommendations are summarized in 10 simple steps you can take.

PositiveTip: Take this "Cancer Health Check" to compare your lifestyle with the new guidelines.

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Inhaled Cannabis Transfers to Breast Milk

Smoking marijuana while breast-feeding may pose risk to infants.

A small study of breast-feeding mothers suggests that the breast-fed infants would consume about 2.5% of the inhaled cannabis dose. Well-intentioned parents might choose to smoke marijuana away from their infants to minimize exposure, but thus study indicates the breast-fed infants will still ingest some. While these amounts are small, the impact on the developing brain is unknown.

PositiveTip: The safest practice is for breast-feeding mothers to refrain from using any cannabis.

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Yuma Romaine Lettuce Scare Likely Over

Harvest season is finished for romaine lettuce in Yuma, AZ.

You can relax your vigilance now in avoiding romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, AZ. The last lettuce shipped from that area was April 16, and it is none of that product is still available in stores or restaurants as it has a 21-day shelf life. The CDC and FDA continue the investigation, but have pointed out that it is unlikely that one grower, processor, or distributor can explain the outbreak.

PositiveTip: Enjoy romaine lettuce along with a variety of other greens for good nutrition and health.