Lifestyle changes are important for managing atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (afib) is a common heart rhythm disorder in which the upper chambers of the heart (the atria) beat fast and irregularly. Afib commonly causes recurrent symptoms, usually palpitations and shortness of breath, and can negatively affect quality of life. Afib also substantially increases the risk of stroke, and is also associated with heart failure, high blood pressure, and diabetes. People with afib routinely require lifelong treatment with blood thinners, to prevent blood clots that can lead to strokes.

Doctors are only recently understanding the importance of lifestyle factors in treating afib. Modifiable lifestyle factors are so important and under-recognized that the American Heart Association (AHA) recently released a scientific statement summarizing the latest research on this topic. The AHA wants both doctors and patients to understand the relationship between lifestyle and afib, and to work as a team to put these lifestyle factors into practice. Following is a … Read more

UK coronavirus live: England has 'reached the limit' of lockdown easing, says Whitty

Face coverings to be made mandatory in more indoor settings in England; government criticised for ‘shockingly short notice’ lockdown before Eid

4.38pm BST

A further 120 Covid-associated fatalities have been recorded, according to today’s update on the government’s coronavirus data dashboard. That brings the government’s tally to 46,119.

However, there is a caveat to about this data, as my colleague Andrew Sparrow writes:

4.23pm BST

Reacting to the prime minister’s peerage nominations, Lord Fowler, the Lord Speaker, said:

This list of new peers marks a lost opportunity to reduce numbers in the House of Lords.

The result will be that the House will soon be nearly 830 strong – almost … Read more

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Republicans in COVID Disarray

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud.

President Donald Trump’s pivot to a more serious view of the coronavirus pandemic didn’t last long. This week, he was again touting hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that has not been shown to work against the virus. Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Republicans continue to struggle to come up with a proposal for the next round of COVID-19 relief even as earlier bills expire. That’s leaving millions of Americans without the ability to pay rent or meet other necessary expenses, as the economy continues to sink.

Also on the agenda, at least briefly, is the subject of high drug prices. Once considered a leading health issue for the 2020 elections, it has been all but wiped from the headlines by the pandemic. Trump issued a series of executive orders he said would produce an immediate impact, but experts point out … Read more

Can appealing to teenagers’ vanity improve sun-protective behaviors?

As the summer warmth lures us outside, parents may be struggling to get their teenagers to follow sun protection guidelines. It can be challenging to catch the attention of younger people, for whom health concerns such as skin cancer feel like a lifetime away. One promising strategy for educating teens about sun-protective behavior is to appeal to their vanity and meet them where they are — on their smartphones.

Mobile app reveals possible effects of UV exposure

A recent study in JAMA Dermatology looked at the impact of using a face-aging mobile application on sun-protective behaviors in a group of Brazilian high school students. The face-aging mobile app used in the study, called Sunface, allows the user to take a selfie and shows what they might look like in five, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years, based on three levels of exposure the user selects: sun protection, no sun protection, … Read more

Coronavirus live news: France rules out lockdown despite infections rise; Japan reports second day of record new cases

French prime minister says full lockdown must be avoided; Japan records 1,274 new cases on Thursday; number of global cases passes 17m

4.38pm BST

The World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said surges in the number of new Covid-19 cases in some countries were driven partly by young people letting down their guard, but that the world needed to learn to live with the disease.

“We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: young people are not invincible,” WHO director general Tedros told a news briefing in Geneva on Thursday, adding recent “spikes have been driven by young people letting down their guard in the northern hemisphere summer.”

4.30pm BST

Brazil’s first lady, Michelle Bolsonaro, has tested positive … Read more

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