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Health Watch: Overprescribing opioids, dehydration, and tanning risks


New research suggested that doctors are still over-prescribing opioid medications for minor injuries. Research at the University of Pennsylvania looked at 30,000 insurance claims from people who went to an Emergency Department with a sprained ankle. Researchers found one quarter of them got an opioid prescription, with the average being a 15-day supply of a low-dose opioid. However, some of them got 30 pills of a medium-strength opioid, and about 5 % of them eventually progressed to further opioid use.

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Perhaps the myth of the healthy tan is the reason many gyms started offering tanning beds, but even though the link between UV exposure and skin cancer has been well established, many still offer them, and some researchers at UConn said that may be sending members a mixed message about what’s healthy. They conducted survey and found that people who tan at the gym are more likely to be heavier tanners, and more likely to be addicted to tanning, than people who tan outside.

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Having trouble concentrating? Try a glass of water.

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology said even mild dehydration can lower your cognitive ability and change your mood. They said women need about 91 ounces of water per day to stay hydrated, and men need 125, but they also said that water can come from the food you eat, as well as from other beverages like tea or coffee.