The Health Benefits of Owning a Dog + Other Stories
Every week, we corral our favorite wellness stories from around the internet—just in time for your weekend reading.
The opioid epidemic continues to claim lives at record rates—rates that are rapidly increasing for women. Researchers are exploring why doctors are more likely to prescribe opioids to women than to men, and how men and women may perceive pain differently.
The New Yorker
The irony of vaccine hesitancy, says journalist Nick Paumgarten, is that is spreads almost exactly like a disease. And in the wake of measles outbreaks within certain groups of like-minded individuals, public health officials are trying to stem a contagion that is, at its root, a social one. (For more on community immunity and why it’s so important, read our Q&A with the director of Vaccinate Your Family here.)
Pets don’t just make us happy. Mounting research also suggests that they can help keep our hearts healthy. And a new study in Europe found that among people who have pets, dog owners enjoy the greatest health benefits: People who have dogs get more physical activity and have better diets and blood sugar levels—all factors that help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
According to a new systematic review, 50 percent of the (costly) MRI scans requested for low-back pain are inessential to a diagnosis. In the absence of any red-flag symptoms, experts suggest considering opting out and reducing your exposure to radiation.