Browsing category: Health

Meet dr. leana wen, baltimore city’s new health commissioner

Originally published in Baltimorefishbowl.com, March 30, 2015 Last January, Dr. Leana S. Wen took the reins from Dr. Oxiris Barbot as Baltimore City Health Commissioner.  Being responsible for the health of the entire city seems like a gargantuan charge, especially for someone barely 30. But given Wen’s accomplishments to date—she entered college at 13, studied public health and health policy as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, served on an advisory commission to Congress regarding graduate medical education, worked as an attending physician in a busy emergency room, gave four popular TED and TEDMed talks, wrote a critically-acclaimed book When Doctor’s Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests, to name a few—she’s probably up to the task. Dr. Wen came to the U.S. from China at age eight and was raised in some of the toughest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Along with her impressive academic credentials and vast experience, she brings to the job a

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Wake Up, Parents: Teens need their sleep

Originally published in Baltimorefishbowl.com, October 30, 2014 Waiting for a youth baseball game to begin, I whiled away the time talking with a guy whose kid seemed to have a lot in common with my son: Same age, shared interests, similar school curriculums. Before long, the conversation turned to homework. “He’s working his butt off,” the dad said. “Up ‘til 11 most nights, oftentimes up at 5:30 and back at it again.” As in 5:30 a.m. “Huh”, I responded, stifling a wordier retort. But my mind was anything but quiet. Is this guy kidding? I wondered. And if he’s not, why is he letting his pride and joy, a kid who’s barely in middle school, regularly sacrifice a quality night’s sleep by cutting it short two to three hours? But here’s the really weird thing: I was pretty sure I detected a hint of pride in the guy’s voice, like he was bragging about his son’s intense work ethic, his drive to stay ahead—or at least afloat. I’m a stickler for a good night’s sleep, especially for

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Age raises infertility risk in men

Originally published on Web MD On playgrounds across the country, it's getting harder to tell who's watching the children -- Dad or Granddad. Experts predict the trend of older fathers will continue creeping upwards. Why the rise and, more importantly, at what cost? "The women set the baby-making agenda," says fertility specialist Dr Harry Fisch. As more and more women wait to have children, their spouses are forced to postpone parenthood too. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in 2004 more than one in 10 of all children born were to fathers aged 40 and over. Around 6,500 children were born to fathers aged 50 and over. In 2008, 63% of babies were fathered by men aged 30 or over. While it has become more socially acceptable to put off fatherhood, experts caution that the decision is not without risks. "The role of the male in infertility has been grossly overlooked by lay [people] and professionals alike," says Dr Peter Schlegel, a specialist in

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Are you a mosquito magnet?

Originally published on Web MD, 2009 You're trying your best to enjoy an evening cookout, but a constant swarm of mosquitoes follows you from grill to poolside. The threat? A pierce to your skin, leaving behind an itchy red welt and possibly even a serious illness. As you swat madly at the pests, you notice that others seem completely unfazed. Could it be that mosquitoes prefer to bite some people over others? The short answer is yes. Mosquitoes do exhibit blood-sucking preferences, say the experts. "One in 10 people are highly attractive to mosquitoes," reports Jerry Butler, PhD, professor emeritus at the University of Florida. But it's not dinner they're sucking out of you. Female mosquitoes -- males do not bite people -- need human blood to develop fertile eggs. And apparently, not just anyone's will do. Who Mosquitoes Like Best Although researchers have yet to pinpoint what mosquitoes consider an ideal hunk of human flesh, the hunt is on. "There's a tremendous

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Workplace workouts: New ways to stay active

Originally published in the Baltimore Sun, April 26, 2006 Brett Martin walks about seven miles during the average workday, which isn't bad for a guy who rarely leaves his office. From behind his custom-designed vertical desk, which fits snugly atop his treadmill, the 39-year-old president of a background-checking company performs the usual office tasks: checking e-mails, typing on his computer, taking calls. Simultaneously, he maintains an easy pace of 1.8 mph at a slight incline.                                  "I was one of those guys who tried to get to the gym two to three times a week but never made it more than once a week," says Martin, of Wilmington, N.C. "I felt guilty that there wasn't enough time in the day to get there." Many office workers tired of the effects of sedentary jobs are finding ways to incorporate extra movement into their daily work  routines -- even if they're too busy at work to leave the office. They're getting help from custom-designed

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