Allison Aubrey

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

The mystery of the outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses is still not solved.

But investigators in Illinois and Wisconsin have found some clues, they announced Friday in a press briefing.

Investigators in these two states conducted detailed interviews with 86 patients — mostly young men — and 66% said they had vaped THC products labeled as Dank Vapes. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

What are Dank Vapes and how could they be fueling the outbreak?

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The shooter who opened fire after a routine traffic stop Saturday in Texas, killing seven people and injuring 22, was fired just hours before the deadly shooting.

Seth Aaron Ator, 36, who lived in the Odessa area, had been fired from his job at Journey Oilfield Services after a disagreement, according to Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke. The shooting rampage, which appears to have been random, ended when Ator was killed by police.

Humans must drastically alter food production to prevent the most catastrophic effects of global warming, according to a new report from the United Nations panel on climate change.

The panel of scientists looked at the climate change effects of agriculture, deforestation and other land use, such as harvesting peat and managing grasslands and wetlands. Together, those activities generate about a third of human greenhouse gas emissions, including more than 40% of methane.

An estimated 40% of adults in the U.S. snore. And, men, you tend to out-snore women. (Yes, this may explain why you get kicked or shoved at night!)

And despite the myth that snoring is a sign of deep sleep, there's really no upside to it.

Work Stress. Home Stress. Financial Stress.

The toll of chronic stress isn't limited to emotional suffering. High stress can set the stage for heart disease.

In fact, research shows that those of us who perceive a lot of stress in our lives are at higher risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems over the long term.

Sneezing, runny nose, congestion, or irritated eyes? Yes, we hear you: The misery of seasonal allergies is real. A lot of people find temporary relief with over-the-counter medications, but these don't treat the cause.

As we head into grass pollen season over the next few months, here's an option to consider: Many allergists now prescribe immunotherapy tablets, which work in the same way as allergy shots, to some of their patients with grass allergies.

About 11 million deaths a year are linked to poor diet around the globe.

What's driving this? As a planet we don't eat enough healthy foods including whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. At the same time, we consume too many sugary drinks, too much salt and too much processed meat.

Even if you're not aware of it, it's likely that your emotions will influence someone around you today.

This can happen during our most basic exchanges, say on your commute to work. "If someone smiles at you, you smile back at them," says sociologist Nicholas Christakis of Yale University. "That's a very fleeting contagion of emotion from one person to another."

Hard to fit exercise into your day? Then, maybe this workout is for you. It covers everything you need — from cardio to strength training to stretching.

"You can get a fantastic workout in 22 minutes," says Tim Church. He's a physician and researcher who has spent his career studying exercise.

A little bit of alcohol has been shown to be protective of heart health. But how does drinking influence cancer risk?

A new study finds that light drinkers have the lowest combined risk of developing cancer and dying prematurely — even lower than people who don't drink at all. But here's the rub: In this study, "light" drinking is defined as one to five drinks per week.

If you take Prilosec or Zantac for acid reflux, a beta blocker for high blood pressure, or Xanax for anxiety, you may be increasing your risk of depression.

More than 200 common medications sold in the U.S. include depression as a potential side effect. Sometimes, the risk stems from taking several drugs at the same time. Now, a new study finds people who take these medicines are, in fact, more likely to be depressed.

If you've avoided romaine lettuce because of the E. coli outbreak, you can start buying it again.

After weeks of warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to toss out romaine grown in the Yuma, Ariz., region, the CDC says there are no longer any greens coming from this region.

The romaine that's for sale now in restaurants and supermarkets nationwide is coming from California's Salinas Valley.

Americans are rediscovering the coldest aisle in the supermarket.

According to a new report, sales of frozen foods, including vegetables and prepared foods, are now on the rise following a multi-year slump.

The uptick is new — and modest. But growth "is accelerating as consumers begin to see freezing as a way to preserve food with fewer negatives," concludes a report from RBC Capital Markets.

Lyme disease was once unheard of in western Pennsylvania, where Barbara Thorne, now an entomologist at the University of Maryland, spent time as a kid.

Thorne knew that if black-legged ticks are infected with bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, they can transmit Lyme to people and, that if untreated, symptoms can range from fever, fatigue and a rash, to serious damage to the joints, heart and nervous system.

Each year, about 31,000 men and women in the U.S. are diagnosed with a cancer caused by an infection from the human papillomavirus, or HPV. It's the most common sexually transmitted virus and infection in the U.S.

In women, HPV infection can lead to cervical cancer, which leads to about 4,000 deaths per year. In men, it can cause penile cancer. HPV also causes some cases of oral cancer, cancer of the anus and genital warts.

To age well, we must eat well. There has been a lot of evidence that heart-healthy diets help protect the brain.

The latest good news: A study recently published in Neurology finds that healthy seniors who had daily helpings of leafy green vegetables — such as spinach, kale and collard greens — had a slower rate of cognitive decline, compared to those who tended to eat little or no greens.

The flu doesn't just make you feel lousy. A study published Wednesday finds it can increase your risk of having a heart attack, too.

"We found that you're six times more likely to have a heart attack during the week after being diagnosed with influenza, compared to the year before or after the infection," says study author Dr. Jeff Kwong, an epidemiologist and family physician with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Public Health Ontario in Canada.

Listen up, night owls: If you're sleeping six or fewer hours per night, you're not doing your health any favors.

A new study finds that getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night may help you tame your sweet tooth.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Artificial intelligence is making its way into everyday life. Digital assistants can help you make a grocery list or maybe keep your home climate-controlled. But what if the devices in your home got involved in raising your kids. Well, we have two stories today from NPR's health team on parenting in the age of Alexa. First NPR's Allison Aubrey reports on a talking device that toymaker Mattel pulled from the market.

ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: When Mattel first introduced dolls that could talk back in the 1960s, this was considered novel.

As deaths from opioid overdoses rise around the country, the city of Baltimore feels the weight of the epidemic.

"I see the impact every single day," says Leana Wen, the city health commissioner. "We have two people in our city dying from overdose every day."

If one glass of wine takes the edge off, why not drink a few more?

This thinking may help explain the findings of a new study that points to an increase in drinking among adults in the U.S., especially women.

Dog owners often say the best thing about dogs is their unconditional love.

But new research suggests there's another benefit, too. Dog owners walk more.

In a study published Monday in the journal BMC Public Health, dog owners on average walked 22 minutes more per day compared to people who didn't own a dog.

And they weren't just dawdling.

There's a rich body of evidence that links chocolate to heart health.

Now comes a new study that finds people who consume small amounts of chocolate each week have a lower risk of developing atrial fibrillation, a heart condition characterized by a rapid or irregular heartbeat.

Norway can be frigid. And the winters bring lots of darkness. But it's the happiest nation in world, according to the 2017 World Happiness Report.

Denmark comes in at #2, followed by Iceland and Switzerland. Finland takes 5th place. And, it turns out, these countries have more in common than a tolerance for cold.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

A new study wades into the ongoing debate over the health benefits of tofu, soy milk and other soy products. The study published in the journal Cancer looks at soy's effects on breast cancer survivors, in particular. NPR's Allison Aubrey takes a look.

Customers who walked through the door of Everyman Espresso, a cafe in New York's East Village, last weekend got a pitch at the check-out counter to support a fundraiser to help defend immigrants.

"We're donating 5 percent [of our proceeds] to the ACLU in response to the travel ban," Eric Grimm, a manager at the cafe, explained.

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