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Report: 42.9 million Americans have unpaid medical bills

WASHINGTON — Nearly 20 percent of U.S. consumers with credit records — 42.9 million people — have unpaid medical debts, according to a new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Column: A dry mouth is fertile for tooth decay

Notice all the side effects drug companies usually list when advertising medications?

Exploring the aspirin’s potential uses

Aspirin is one of the oldest drugs out there. And yet researchers are still learning what it can — and cannot — do.

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Animal therapy shown to benefit health, healing

Two miniature horses trotted into a hospital.

Flu shot not as effective as hoped

If you’ve followed public health advice, you’re already vaccinated against influenza for the current season.

CDC: Circumcision benefits outweigh risks

Uncircumcised men and the parents of newborn boys should be informed that the health benefits of circumcision are “dramatic” and the risks of the procedure are “low,” according to proposed guidelines developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Students learn art of mindfulness at Portland school

As the morning school bell rings and students rush through crowded corridors, teenagers in one Portland classroom settle onto mats and meditation pillows. They fall silent after the teacher taps a Tibetan “singing bowl.”

Hospital-caused deaths drop off

Efforts to make hospital care safer have resulted in an estimated 50,000 fewer patients dying because of avoidable errors in the past three years, according to a new report by government and industry officials.

Researchers discover genetic ‘pre-cancer’ mutations in blood

Many older people silently harbor a blood “pre-cancer” — a gene mutation acquired during their lifetime that could start them on the path to leukemia, lymphoma or other blood disease, scientists have discovered. It opens a new frontier on early detection and possibly someday preventing these cancers, which become more common with age.

Google behind spoon that helps people with hand tremors

Google is throwing its money, brain power and technology at the humble spoon.

Blood drives scheduled in Walla Walla, Prescott

WALLA WALLA — The American Red Cross has announced blood drives for early December in Walla Walla and Prescott.

Column: An apple a day ... well you know the rest

Do you have a good gut feeling about apples? Your body may — and that could be important to your overall health.

Pain medication overdose deaths in state slow

WALLA WALLA — While statewide changes to prescribing practices for prescription pain relief in the past few years has helped lower overdose deaths, the quest for electronic sharing of information to ensure drug safety continues to need tweaking.

DSHS fined nearly $200K for failing to provide for mentally ill defendants

Sanctions against the state’s health-services agency for failing to provide competency evaluation and treatment to mentally ill defendants have reached almost $200,000, according to recently released documents.

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