Medical Bills Prompt More Than 60% of U.S. Bankruptcies

Every year, 1.5 million people in the United States declare bankruptcy and many people think overspending or lavish lifestyles are to blame. However, a new study suggests that in fact, more than 60% of people who go bankrupt are actually capsized by medical bills. Bankruptcies due to medical bills increased by nearly 50% in a six-year period, from 46% in 2001 to 62% in 2007, and most of those who filed for bankruptcy were middle class, well-educated homeowners, according to the report to be published in the August issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

Should Older Women Get the HPV Vaccine?

Most people have heard about the shot that can protect young girls and women from the human papillomavirus, or HPV, which can lead to cervical cancer. But what about older women? The picture for older women—meaning mid-20s and up—is a bit murkier. According to a study published this week in The Lancet, an HPV vaccine can indeed protect women ages 24 to 45 from getting the sexually transmitted virus.

Getting My Butt Out of Bed: How I Became a Morning Exerciser

Regular exercise comes with one big diet perk: it means I could have a small splurge once a day. Here's what helps me break a sweat before sunrise.

As Movies Portray Fewer Smokers, Are Fewer Real-Life Teens Lighting Up?

Blockbuster movies are less likely to portray smokers than they have in the past, according to a new study. What’s more, this decline in on-screen smoking may have occurred in tandem with a drop in the number of adolescents who have lit up in real life. While the study can’t prove that one is related to the other, the findings would seem to support what critics have long said: Smoking by glamorous (or even not-so-glamorous) people on the silver screen is like free advertising for cigarettes.

'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age

First came Nintendo thumb. Then, Guitar Hero wrist. Now, for the latest affliction of the wired age, it's cell phone elbow.

Gear Guide: Women's Sun-Protective Hiking Apparel

A few years ago, Health magazine’s art department named a color after me: “As tan as Su will ever get.” It was a very pale, pinky beige. I burn like a marshmallow over a campfire, so I never leave the house without slathering my exposed skin with sunscreen. Until recently, though, I’d never really given thought to the protection my clothes gave me. Turns out the average white t-shirt only provides a UPF of about 5—not much leeway, in my case. Seems I’m the perfect person to check out the new trend of UPF clothes.

Many Women Put Pregnancy Plans on Hold in Shaky Economy

Nearly 1 in 5 married women aged 18 to 44 years say the shaky economy has affected their plans to increase the size of their family, according to a survey released in May by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Nearly 1 in 10 said they had put off a planned pregnancy due to the economy.

Man Detained at Airport After Chemo Drug Wipes Out Fingerprints

People who take the widely used cancer drug Xeloda may see their fingerprints disappear, which could lead to major headaches when traveling to countries—like the United States—that require fingerprint identification. In fact, a 62-year-old man from Singapore who was taking the drug was detained at airport customs for four hours before US immigration officers “were satisfied that he was not a security threat,” Dr. Eng-Huat Tan of the National Cancer Centre in Singapore and his colleagues report in a case study published in the Annals of Oncology.

Cancer Death Rate Dropped by Nearly 20% in 15-Year Period

Better prevention and treatment means that fewer people are dying of cancer than in the past. In fact, 650,000 lives were spared from cancer between 1990 to 2005, according to new American Cancer Society statistics. During the 15-year-period, the cancer death rate among men dropped by 19.2 percent—mainly due to decreases in lung, prostate and colon cancer deaths. In women, the cancer death rate fell by 11.4 percent, largely due to a drop in breast and colorectal cancer deaths.

NFL Athletes at Risk for High Blood Pressure

They’re bigger, brawnier, and faster than the typical male, but are National Football League players healthier than other men their age? Yes and no, according to a new NFL-funded study that looks at the cardiovascular health of young athletes.