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FRIDAY, July 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Two-thirds of hospitalized pneumonia patients may be prescribed antibiotics for too long, increasing their risk for potentially harmful side effects, researchers say.

In 93#37; of cases, overprescription involved the number of antibiotics patients received upon being discharged from the hospital.

Each year in the United States, pneum...

FRIDAY, June 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- People with Alzheimer's disease who take opioid painkillers are more likely to develop pneumonia, Finnish researchers report.

The overall odds are 30% higher, especially in the first two months of use, the researchers found. And the risk is highest for those taking strong opioids such as oxycodone or fentanyl.

However, pneumonia r...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It's not too late to get your flu shot, which can protect you in ways that may surprise you.

The flu vaccine can be a lifesaver for people with heart disease, according to infectious disease specialist Dr. Michael Chang, assistant professor of pediatrics at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

"Previous studies ha...

THURSDAY, Jan. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- People who take prescription opioid painkillers are at increased risk for pneumonia, especially those with HIV, a new study suggests.

The findings support concerns that prescription opioids can weaken the immune system. Doctors who prescribe opioids need to reduce patients' risk of pneumonia through vaccination and by encouraging them to sto...

FRIDAY, Dec. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Financial penalties meant to reduce U.S. hospital readmissions for patients with heart failure and pneumonia may actually increase their risk of death after leaving the hospital, a new study suggests.

In 2012, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services started hitting hospitals with financial penalties for higher-than-expected 30-da...

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- You're less likely to pick up a nasty infection during a hospital stay in the United States than you were just a few years ago, a new report finds.

Between 2011 and 2015, a patient's risk of catching a hospital-acquired infection dropped 16 percent, researchers said.

"The findings are encouraging. Progress is being made in infec...

TUESDAY, Oct. 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- With flu season imminent, U.S. health officials urge everyone 6 months and older to get a flu shot.

Already, one unvaccinated child in Florida has died from flu, the officials warned.

Not many cases have been reported so far, so it's too soon to know if this year's strains will be as severe as last season's, said Lynnette Brammer, ...

FRIDAY, Oct. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you have diabetes, you need all recommended vaccinations, the American Association of Diabetes Educators says.

Diabetes reduces the immune system's ability to fight certain infections. This raises the risk for serious complications from diseases that vaccines protect against -- including flu, pneumonia, hepatitis B, tetanus and shingles.

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Your Mom told you not to do it, and new research confirms that nose-picking isn't healthy for you or those around you.

In a study involving 40 adults, British researchers found that the bacteria behind potentially lethal pneumonia could be spread by picking and rubbing the nose.

It was known that the pneumococcus bacteria that ca...

MONDAY, July 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking marijuana once a week can cause coughing, wheezing and phlegm, all signs of chronic bronchitis, a new evidence review reports.

Pot smoking doubles a person's risk of developing a regular hacking cough. It also triples the risk of coughing up phlegm and suffering from wheezy constricted breathing, researchers found.

"We know th...

THURSDAY, June 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Having tonsils removed in childhood is supposed to end chronic earaches and breathing problems. But what if it also increases risk of respiratory infections?

"We found that long-term risks of diseases -- in particular respiratory, allergic and infectious diseases -- were substantially increased after surgery up to 30 years of age," said Sea...

FRIDAY, May 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity brings with it many health ills, but there could be one silver lining, new research shows.

If you're in the hospital suffering from an infectious disease, you're half as likely to die if you're overweight or obese, Danish researchers report.

For the study, Sigrid Gribsholt, from Aarhus University Hospital's department of clini...

THURSDAY, March 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Suffering a nasty bout of the flu or pneumonia is bad enough, but now research suggests it might also spell trouble for your heart.

In a study of nearly 2,000 people in Scotland, those who had battled the flu or pneumonia were six times more likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke in the days after their sickness began.

But...

MONDAY, Feb. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The bad news on opioids just keeps coming.

Not only are these painkillers implicated in millions of cases of addiction and tens of thousands of overdose deaths in the United States, new research now suggests that taking opioids can increase your risk of getting a pneumococcal infection by about 60 percent.

"The risk was increased ev...

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Only half of American adults with work-related asthma get the recommended vaccination against pneumococcal disease, a new study finds.

Adults with asthma are at increased risk for pneumococcal disease, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all adults aged 19 to 64 get the pneumococcal vaccine.

Ho...

TUESDAY, Sept. 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Kids who develop respiratory infections like colds or sinusitis may have a higher risk of asthma and reduced lung function later in life, a new study says.

Researchers examined data from nearly 155,000 children in Europe. They were followed from birth through ages 4 to 15 years.

Those who had an upper respiratory infection -- such ...

FRIDAY, Sept. 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- In poor countries, childhood vaccines will save 20 million lives and $350 billion in health care costs by 2020, a new study says.

"Vaccination is generally regarded to be one of the most cost-effective interventions in public health," said study leader Sachiko Ozawa, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's S...

FRIDAY, Sept. 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Been looking for a reason to turn down your child's pleas for a pet Guinea pig? Dutch researchers say the rodents may carry germs tied to serious pneumonia.

The bacteria, Chlamydia caviae (C. caviae), normally causes pink eye in guinea pigs.

But three adults in the Netherlands wound up hospitalized for pneumonia after ...

FRIDAY, Aug. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Adults who've been hospitalized with pneumonia or sepsis have a higher risk of heart disease, a new European study reports.

Researchers examined data from nearly 237,000 Swedish men. They were followed from age 18 into middle age. The study found that those admitted to the hospital with pneumonia or sepsis (a bacterial infection of the blood) ...

TUESDAY, July 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Under Obamacare, efforts were made to cut the number of times patients needed to head back to the hospital after discharge. But would a reduction in these "readmissions" leave patients more vulnerable at home, raising death rates?

A new study suggests that didn't happen. Reducing hospital readmission rates for heart attack, heart failure an...