Health

A view of Xanax, which is one example of a benzodiazepine.

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Risks of popular anxiety drugs often overshadowed

Benzodiazepines like Xanax and Valium are among the most widely prescribed drugs in the U.S. But when it comes to the risks they pose, they take a back seat to prescription painkillers and heroin.

Women make up nearly two-thirds of the people in the U.S. diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Gene linked to Alzheimer's poses a special threat to women

Scientists have figured out one reason women might be more vulnerable to Alzheimer's: A risk gene doubles women's chances of getting the disease but has minimal effect on men.

Volunteers with lower levels of blood sugar stuck more pins in voodoo dolls of their spouses than people with higher levels.

Voodoo dolls prove it: Hunger makes couples turn on each other

To see if low blood sugar sours even good relationships, scientists used an unusual tool: voodoo dolls representing spouses. As hunger levels rose, so did the number of pins.

The grumpy point: When a man turns 70

The approximate moment when grumpiness kicks in for men, according to a recently released report, is around age 70.

California measles cases rise to 56; only 4 at same time last year

Among the new cases, two were intentionally unvaccinated and one had appropriate vaccination. There were only four cases in the state at the same time last year.

Ebola drug could be ready for human testing next year

There's no treatment yet for the deadly viral disease, but several approaches are in the works. At least one experimental drug seems effective in monkeys. Next step: safety tests in people.

Sebelius: 'I knew it wouldn't be easy'

With Kathleen Sebelius leaving as health secretary, the president is turning to budget chief Sylvia Mathews Burwell to run the agency that oversees the Affordable Care Act — better known as Obamacare.

New surge in salmonella cases tied to Foster Farms

Federal officials link the outbreak to three Foster Farms facilities in central California. Most of the new victims are Californians.

Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning

Health Secrerary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning after a five-year term that will no doubt be remembered for the calamitous implementation of Obamacare.

Covered California: massive signups days before grace period ends

More than 70,000 enrolled in health plans through Covered California between April 1-9, according to the agency's executive director.

For poor kids, fewer dentists, but a pilot program offers hope

Fewer and fewer dentists will accept poor kids on Denti-Cal because of low reimbursement rates. A pilot program suggests that hygienists could help fill the gap.

Avoiding the nursing home ups the risk of unwanted medical care

Two thirds of older adults suffer from cognitive impairment or dementia in their last year of life, a study finds. That and being cared for at home increase the risk of aggressive treatment.

Mouthwash and poor dental hygiene may up the risk of oral cancer

Freshening up your mouth with a regular rinse could come with a long-term health hazard. But cancer specialists are far more concerned about tobacco, alcohol and betel nut chewing.

Involuntary shaking can be caused by essential tremors

It's easy to think that a shaking hand could be a sign of Parkinson's disease. But it's more likely essential tremor, an ailment that's not life-threatening but can become debilitating.

Chemo can make food taste like metal.

Patients undergoing chemotherapy need to eat to stay strong. But the drugs can cause nausea and damage taste buds.

The need for glasses is great, but many kids go without

Several private groups work to provide free glasses to poor kids, but they say thousands are still going without in poor communities, where cost and access are issues.