Edition: U.S. / Global

Friday, December 18, 2015


Ask Well

Are Avocados Good for You?

Evan Sung for The New York Times

Studies suggest a variety of health benefits from eating avocados.

A tanning bed inside the Sunset Beach Tanning Salon in Fort Collins, Colo. About a third of adults in the United States have reported ever using a tanning bed — most of them women.
Matthew Staver for The New York Times

A tanning bed inside the Sunset Beach Tanning Salon in Fort Collins, Colo. About a third of adults in the United States have reported ever using a tanning bed — most of them women.

Using tanning beds increases the risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma, by 59 percent, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

The New Old Age

A Prescription for Confusion: When to Take All Those Pills

Complicated drug regimens cause many older patients to throw up their hands. A few simple fixes could help solve the problem, experts say.

Raw Data

In Developing World, Cancer Is a Very Different Disease

In the West, cancer often afflicts those who are affluent and older. In poorer countries, it is not even a leading cause of death.

Big City

New York Revamps Safe Sex

The city will begin distributing kits that will include condoms, lubricant and a section for pills, part of a broader preventive campaign that includes billboards urging people to “Play Sure.”

Concussions Plague Women’s Hockey as Stars Are Sidelined

Concussions have kept some of the best players away from the ice for extended periods as the sport struggles to combat an issue that football and men’s hockey have failed at times to properly address.

Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer May Become Possible

A screening test may reduce deaths from the hard-to-detect disease, but it needs more study to determine whether it holds up statistically.


Love on the Hospital Walls

I admire the creativity, the support, the love that I see on the walls of my patient’s rooms. I get to appreciate my patients from the time before they were sick, and I can also see what they are trying to return to.

Ask Well

Blood Pressure Over Age 70

While there is debate over how aggressively high blood pressure should be treated in older patients, the definition of a healthy blood pressure does not change with age for the general population.


When Runners Go the Distance, but Races Don’t

When a race course is inadvertently shortened by a misplaced traffic cone or a confused but well-intentioned volunteer, runners are often left in the lurch.


Liquor Taxes and Sexually Transmitted Infections

Researchers have found that an increase in liquor taxes in Maryland and a decrease in cases of a sexually transmitted disease are linked.

Curing Hepatitis C, in an Experiment the Size of Egypt

A new approach tested in Egypt could become the blueprint for providing cutting-edge medicines to the poor.

Phys Ed

How Exercise May Help Us Fight Off Colds

Working out could help us fight off colds and other infections, a new study suggests, providing more incentive to exercise as the temperatures drop.


After Shingles, Higher Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke

Researchers found that in the weeks after a herpes zoster diagnosis, patients were more susceptible to cardiovascular events.

Beijing Issues a Second ‘Red Alert’ on Pollution

The crisis measures were expected to start Saturday and last for four days. The Chinese capital issued its first top-level air pollution alert last week.

New York City’s Flu Shot Mandate for Young Children Is Struck Down

A state judge said the rule requiring vaccination against the disease for anyone to attend a city-licensed preschool or day care center was invalid without action by the Legislature.

Shkreli Indictment Portrays Small-Time Fraud

The latest uproar around Martin Shkreli has nothing to do with drug prices, but allegations of fraud at a small hedge fund.

News Analysis

Martin Shkreli’s Arrest Gives Drug Makers Cover

Pharmaceutical executives can look at the federal indictment and say that Martin Shkreli is an aberration, a rotten apple, but his arrest is not likely to make concern about drug prices go away.

New York Prisons Take an Unsavory Punishment Off the Table

The discontinuation of Nutraloaf, an unappetizing brick of dissimilar ingredients given to inmates in solitary confinement, is a symbolic victory for those seeking more humane treatment for prisoners.

Kaiser Permanente Plans to Open a Medical School

The system’s leaders said their central goal was to teach Kaiser’s model of integrated care to a new generation of doctors.

Where to Run (and Exercise) in London

Tips for running, spinning and yoga in this city of crowded, narrow sidewalks but a wealth of dramatic views.

F.D.A. Allows Maker of Just Mayo to Keep Product’s Name

Federal standards require that any product called mayonnaise contain eggs, which Just Mayo does not. Now, the F.D.A. has decided that Hampton Creek can keep the Just Mayo name and its logo, as long as it alters its label.

In Likely Spending Plan, Congress Readies Blows to Obama’s Health Care Law

Republicans have forced President Obama to swallow three changes that undermine his signature health care law, including a two-year delay of a tax on high-cost insurance plans provided by employers to workers.

Yoga Teachers Behaving Badly

A fictional web series is filled (somewhat impolitely) with story lines that include sex, drugs and downward dogs.

The Weekly Health Quiz
Your Questions, Answered
Ask Well

How Often Should You Get Dental X-Rays?

Although X-rays expose people to radiation, the risk of dental X-rays is low and dropping, as manufacturing companies work to reduce dosage.

Ask Well

Do Sleeping Pills Induce Restorative Sleep?

A reader asks: Is sleep induced by a benzodiazepine counted as restorative sleep?

Ask Well

Blood Pressure, the Top and Bottom Numbers

While high systolic (the top number) and diastolic (the bottom number) readings are both associated with increased risk, they may present different risks for different diseases.

From The Upshot

Interactive Feature: The Experts Were Wrong About the Best Places for Better and Cheaper Health Care

Do areas that spend less on Medicare also spend less on health care over all? A new study is forcing experts to rethink what they know about health costs.

The Upshot

Even in Basic Health Decisions, You Can’t Screen Out Politics

A panel of experts sets national standards for preventive care like mammograms, but it has not been immune to criticism from politicians.

From Opinion
Op-Ed Contributor

The Problem With Focusing on Childhood Obesity

We’re pretending that adults make healthy food choices. But they don’t.

For a 7-Minute Workout, Try Our App

The New York Times is offering a free mobile app for the popular Scientific 7-Minute Workout and the new Advanced 7-minute Workout.

Picture Your Life
Faces of Breast Cancer

If you live with breast cancer, love someone with breast cancer or worry about your risk for breast cancer, you are part of a global community of women and men whose lives have been touched by the disease.

Stillbirth: Your Stories

Few families are prepared when a baby dies prior to delivery. Here, parents who have navigated this difficult experience are sharing their insights.

Patient Voices

What is it like to live with a chronic disease, mental illness or confusing condition? In Patient Voices, we feature first person accounts of the challenges patients face as they cope with various health issues.

Sign Up for the Well Newsletter

Well Newsletter

Get the best of Well, with the latest on health, fitness and nutrition, plus exclusive commentary by Tara Parker-Pope, delivered to your inbox every week.


More than 3,000 topics described, illustrated and investigated