Statewide, 2.2 million adults continue smoking cigarettes but that number also has been declining.

Cigarette smoking plunges in U.S.

The nation saw cigarette smoking dip 10 percent from January through March but Allegheny County lags behind with high smoking rates.

36 minutes ago

Obese at 50? Midlife weight may affect when Alzheimer’s hits

Midlife obesity can speed Alzheimer’s onset, National Institute on Aging study finds.

1 day ago

Planned Parenthood loss could burden other health centers

Lousiana’s intent to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood clinics threatens the fight against sexually transmitted diseases.

1 day ago

 Karen Wolk Feinstein, president and CEO of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, said Tuesday of personal health responsibility: “We own it. It’s our health. It’s so fundamental and yet it seems too simple.”

On 25th anniversary, Jewish Healthcare Foundation putting new focus on personal health

“It’s our health,” said Karen Wolk Feinstein, president and CEO of the foundation. “It’s so fundamental and yet it seems too simple.”

1 day ago

 Jeffrey Schwartz, with human and monkey skulls, in a lab at the University of Pittsburgh's Posvar Hall, in 2009.

Pitt paleontologist wants to limit the genus Homo to Homo sapiens

Pitt’s Jeffrey Schwartz stirs controversy with his Science magazine article stating that some human species don’t belong in the genus Homo.

2 days ago

Health happenings for Sept. 1, 2015

Health and fitness-related news listings for Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015.

2 days ago

Genetic tests pushed to help prevent some deaths

The research announced by Medtronic found an association between a single gene and 50 percent higher odds of some irregular heartbeats.

2 days ago

 Betsy Hawley is the director of the Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition, founded at the Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church.

Coalition aiming to support, strengthen children's palliative care

Most hospices don’t accept pediatric patients, and few resources exist for families needing end-of-life care for children, members say.

3 days ago

 Billy Ellsworth works on social studies lessons at home in Coraopolis. He is part of a clinical trial for eteplirsen, a drug that has not only slowed the progession of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, but improved his symptoms.

FDA fast-tracks drug to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy

The Food and Drug Administration has agreed to quicker review of a promising muscular dystrophy treatment.

3 days ago

 In the 2013-14 school year, Pennsylvania had one of the worst vaccination rates in the country for the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, according to the CDC.

Pennsylvania students lag in receiving required vaccines

Only a small percentage claim an exemption to requirements. The larger problem: many children are not up-to-date on their vaccines.

4 days ago

 In this photo taken Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, Ebola survivor Victoria Yillia cries as she recalls her family members who died of Ebola, at a maternity ward at the Kenema government hospital on the outskirts of Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone Ebola survivor who miscarried, lost 21 relatives gives birth to healthy son

Ebola did not take Victoria Yillia’s life. And it could not prevent the birth of her son. And yet it loomed, even on this, her happiest day.

5 days ago

 "I don’t want to sleep, I just want to keep making these,” Martha Montesano, 93, said.

At 93, Robinson woman crafts 'angel bracelets' for breast cancer patients

Martha Montesano is closing in on the creation of her 1,000th bracelet, a project she began after her daughter was diagnosed with cancer.

6 days ago

 Joe Chesno

Fundraiser planned for Montour graduate with lymphoma

Joe Chesno was diagnosed in 2013 and the disease recurred this year.

6 days ago

Penn State report: Effects of climate change to accelerate in Pennsylvania

The report says climate change can cause more severe storms, higher risk of insect-borne illnesses and significant changes to water quality.

6 days ago

 A group of teens walk through Grandview Park on Mount Washington in December.

Survey reveals concerns, positives in health of Allegheny County youths

They have higher rates of seeing doctors, eating vegetables and breakfast, getting eight hours of sleep, and feeling safe in their schools.

1 week ago

 Jessica Tang of Sewickley holds her son Connor, 3 days old, at the Midwife Center for Birth and Women’s Health in the Strip District on Aug. 19. Ms. Tang had both of her sons at The Midwife Center.

Popularity of midwife delivery growing in Western Pennsylvania

Stand-alone birth practices can cut delivery costs up to 50 percent over traditional hospitals.

1 week ago

 Sprout Pharmaceuticals CEO Cindy Whitehead holds a bottle for the female sex-drive drug Addyi at her Raleigh, N.C., office on Aug. 15.

Insurers review pill aimed to boost women’s sex drive

Although retail prices could approach $500 a month for the female libido pill Addyi, its maker expects much lower co-pays for insured women.

1 week ago

 "PlantPure Nation."

Power of plants: Documentary will launch plant-based nutrition campaign

“PlantPure Nation,” screening on Thursday, will also launch a whole food plant-based diet campaign in Pittsburgh and beyond.

1 week ago

Penn State study shows strategy to create more nutritious plant foods

A Penn State study says reluctant consumption of plants requires more healthful plant foods to help fight chronic disease and cancer.

1 week ago

Health events around the region

Health-related events for Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015.

1 week ago

Signs of human trafficking

Experts say those who see suspected trafficking should not try to intervene; they should report what they see to authorities.

1 week ago

Las Palmas taco stand in Oakland hit with consumer alert

Las Palmas was cited for holding food at unsafe temperatures and inadequate sanitization, among other problems.

1 week ago

Study raises doubts about early-stage breast cancer treatments

Large study finds aggressive treatment of earliest breast cancer had no impact on whether a woman lives or dies.

1 week ago

National briefs: Two women are first to pass Army Ranger school

Plus: Protests after teen’s death, Prison escapee arraigned, ‘Female Viagra’ company sold, Drones disrupt air traffic

1 week ago

 Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf replaced Healthy PA in April with the expansion of conventional Medicaid called HealthChoices.

Pennsylvania’s Medicaid expansion simplifies enrollment

Families who might have waited months for medical assistance last winter are seeing shorter delays under Pennsylvania’s Medicaid expansion.

2 weeks ago

What makes people fat? Bad gene shares blame

MIT and Harvard University scientists on Wednesday reported they they’d discerned how the key gene tied to obesity makes people fat.

2 weeks ago

 Linda Dickerson, who lives and maintains her business Downtown, uses a wheelchair because she has Werdnig-Hoffmann, a rare, genetic neuromuscular disease.

Foundation creates fund in honor of disability activist

The Three Rivers Community Foundation has its roots in activist causes and has remained committed to providing funds to spur social change.

2 weeks ago

 Several hundred Allegheny Technology workers and their families protest a lockout Monday in Midland, Beaver County.

‘Cadillac tax’ key in Allegheny Technologies' lockout

Thousands of union steelworkers facing changes in health care benefits because of a tax imposed by the president’s Affordable Care Act.

2 weeks ago

Jameson’s maternity center will no longer deliver babies

Patients who expected to deliver babies between Aug. 20 and Aug. 31 have been contacted and alternative arrangements have been made.

2 weeks ago

Last official charged in W.Va. chemical spill pleads guilty

Freedom Industries president Gary Southern told reporters a day after the January 2014 spill that he had had a “long day.”

2 weeks ago

 Tents used by the homeless line the bank under the Parkway East overlooking Second Avenue in March.

Homeless women find sexual violence part of life on the street

National organization reports that more than 90 percent of women who are homeless have experienced severe physical or sexual abuse.

2 weeks ago

Four-day stays not always welcome, used after C-sections

Despite the laws, three-day hospital stays may not be uncommon following a C-section birth.

2 weeks ago

 A tablet of flibanserin sits on a brochure for Sprout Pharmaceuticals in the company’s Raleigh, N.C., headquarters. The FDA on Tuesday approved its use.

FDA approves female sex pill, but with safety restrictions

Addyi is first prescription drug designed to boost sexual desire in women, a milestone long sought by a pharmaceutical industry

2 weeks ago

Health happenings for the week of Aug. 28, 2015

Health- and fitness-related events for the week following Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015.

2 weeks ago

Pa. settles lawsuit over women's health coverage

The state reviewed the cases of 74,415 women who were enrolled in SelectPlan; about 59,000 have now been enrolled in expanded Medicaid.

2 weeks ago

 “This is unacceptable in society let alone in any of our hospitals,” Leslie Davis, senior vice president of UPMC, said in a statement.

Lawsuit says UPMC Mercy failed to protect patient from sexual assault

William Butler, a “patient sitter,” was charged July 29 with four counts of aggravated indecent assault and five counts of indecent assault.

2 weeks ago

In heroin fight, White House tries to break down walls between public health, police

The new program is a response to a steep increase in heroin use and deaths in much of the nation.

2 weeks ago

 Dr. Patty George of UPMC, participates last summer's Race Across the West in Monument Valley, Utah, to help raise money for Team PHenomenal Hope.  On Monday, she will begin a 764-mile Paris-Brest-Paris cycling event for the foundation.

Transplant surgeon to hit the road to benefit patients

UPMC’s Patty George will cycle in the longest ride in her life in Paris to raise awareness of and funds for pulmonary hypertension.

2 weeks ago

Veterans outpatient clinic in Cranberry moving to larger location

The VA Butler Healthcare clinic will be just a mile away. The bigger digs will mean more services and staff.

2 weeks ago

 Mark Clayton Southers with sons Marcus, 7, and Andre, 4.  Mr. Southers also has a daughter, Ashley, 21.

Pittsburgh Playwrights leader on the mend from serious car accident

Mark Clayton Southers chronicles dark and hopeful times during his grueling recovery.

3 weeks ago

Referrals may be stumbling block to timely kidney transplants, JAMA study says

Obstacles to a kidney transplant may start as early as the referral at dialysis centers for a transplant evaluation, a JAMA study says.

3 weeks ago

 Anthem announced July 24 that it would buy rival Cigna for about $54.2 billion.

Anthem-Cigna proposed merger draws new warning for Pennsylvanians

Could a merger lead to steeper medical costs in the state?

3 weeks ago

Health happenings for Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Health related events schedule for the coming week.

3 weeks ago

 Ricky Schroder’s starred in the 1979 film “The Champ,” in which his father, played by Jon Voight, is a boxer who comes out of retirement and then dies from blows in the ring.

What's the saddest movie scene? Research says answer may be in 'The Champ'

A tearful clip from the 1979 movie is used to evoke sadness in labs all over the world.

3 weeks ago

 Prashant Poudel, 2, tested positive for lead poisoining from the paint in a Carrick apartment. His family has since moved to a new home.

Lead exposure remains risk for children in Allegheny County

Despite downward trends in the lead levels of children, many in Allegheny County remain at risk.

3 weeks ago

Housing authorities effective in avoiding, addressing lead poisoning

Public housing units must pass regular inspections for lead paint, among other hazards.

3 weeks ago

Lead paint information

How to avoid the risk of lead poisoning, which can have serious and long-lasting effects.

3 weeks ago

 Rochelle Jackson, a single mother of four, works in welfare advocacy for Pittsburgh nonprofit Just Harvest. She has two other part-time jobs and is working to complete a master's degree in business administration at Carlow University.

Single moms struggle to find help and escape judgment

Many single mothers contend with unemployment and poverty, bearing judgment that they are welfare queens and their families are lesser.

3 weeks ago

CDC says school starts too early for good health

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that schools start after 8:30 a.m. to help teens avoid becoming chronically sleep-deprived.

3 weeks ago

Nonprofit helps families of those with mental illness

NAMI is a support, education and advocacy group.

3 weeks ago