Tag Archives: Health

Weekend Reads: Is Drinking Coffee Good or Bad For You?

by Kevin Schofield


This weekend’s read is a research study on the effects of drinking coffee — potentially a lot of coffee — on your health. Specifically it looks at whether people who drink coffee were more likely to die over a ten-year period from any cause (called a “mortality hazard ratio”).

The researchers from the National Cancer Institute and Northwestern University studied a sample of 490,000 persons from the United Kingdom whose medical records from 2006 to 2016 are in a research “biobank” along with data about their demographics and lifestyle. Biobanks like this one are essential resources for looking for connections with health and medical outcomes.

The results they found were surprising. According to the researchers, drinking coffee is inversely associated with mortality: that is, people who drank coffee were less likely to die over the ten-year study period. Even more surprising: even people who drank six or more cups of coffee per day — which, let’s be honest, sounds scary — had a lower mortality rate than those who drank fewer cups.

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Renton Entrepreneur Brings Sea Moss to the South End and Beyond

by M. Anthony Davis


When Dannett Cage, owner of Beyond Bodi, began a Black-owned business selling skin care and edible products infused with sea moss, it was in response to increasing requests from friends and family to try, and often buy, her homemade products.

“I was really only making it just for my family, like my mom and my household,” Cage recalls. “Then, I made some on a Friday evening as I was going out for a girls’ getaway that weekend, and everyone tried it and couldn’t believe the energy it gave them.”

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ICHS’s Free Tai Ji Quan Program Improves Elders’ Mobility

by Amanda Ong


For many elders, especially those who are low-income or face language barriers, access to exercise classes is often low, even as movement is vital to aging health. But the International Community Health Services (ICHS) has a counter to these issues: its “Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance” program has been running since winter of 2020, and recently has been made available in-person to the community as well as virtually.

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OPINION: Wellness = Health + Financial Literacy

by Dr. Daniel Low


“I’ve never had a doctor ask,” he quipped. “Well, taxes are important, Mr. Jones,” I chuckled. Like many others, Mr. Jones had recently summoned the courage to come to his first clinic visit in nearly two years, previously avoiding the medical establishment as COVID-19 raged across the country. With so much time between our last visits, he was expecting questions about his diabetes management and colon cancer screening (which we covered), but whether he needed help filing taxes? That was not what he was expecting.

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Weekend Reads: The Era of ‘Personalized Medicine’ — What Our Steps and Sleep Say About Us

by Kevin Schofield


This weekend, we have a pair of “reads” to consider, both related to activities closely associated with our health: walking and sleeping.

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CALM Launches Medic Hotline to Provide Community Health Navigation

by Amanda Ong


Community Action for Liberation Medics (CALM) is a street medic collective that has been in our streets since the summer of 2020, following George Floyd’s murder and the subsequent uprising. This October, CALM established a street medic hotline through which the community can contact them. The goal of the hotline is to support the extended community with medical and psychiatric decision-making.

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Omicron Variant Discovered in King, and Two Other Counties

by Sally James


As State officials predicted, three cases of the omicron variant were confirmed Dec. 4 in three different counties in Washington. Experts did not reveal details about the travel history of the patients. There was one patient each in Thurston, Pierce, and King counties. 

Elsewhere in the nation, patients have been diagnosed with omicron who had no travel history, and infectious disease doctors predict that the new variant is likely already in many communities.

“We knew this day was inevitable, but the good news is we have more tools at our disposal to fight the virus than at any previous point in the pandemic, and we must continue to protect ourselves and our communities,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement. 

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Washington Latino Communities Still Lag in Vaccinations, Warns Researcher

by Sally James


Now is not the time to feel safe in regard to the threat of COVID-19, especially for Latino communities, warns physician Leo Morales, the leader of the Latino Center for Health at the University of Washington (UW). The group just released a policy statement based on vaccination numbers from around the state.

“The greatest risk we face now is to be complacent … We cannot rest until we have reached all unvaccinated and under-vaccinated Latinos in our state,” said Morales in a press statement about the policy brief. 

Health disparities that lead to a higher risk of hospitalization and death for Latino people, in comparison to white people, will likely continue, even as boosters and new shots for children ages 5 to 11 become available across the state. 

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Patients Are Traveling From Texas for Abortion Care. This May Be the New Normal.

by Megan Burbank


At midnight on the first day of September, after the Supreme Court failed to respond to an appeal from abortion providers, a law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy went into effect in Texas. SB 8 has ended access to an estimated 85% of procedures, empowered ordinary people to sue fellow citizens for seeking out or facilitating abortion care, and pushed patients to seek care across state lines, some as far as the Pacific Northwest. Less than a month after SB 8’s implementation, Planned Parenthood disclosed to the Emerald that its Central District Health Center had seen its first patient from Texas.

This disruption in care, and rise in anti-abortion vigilanteism, has already been challenged by the Justice Department and drawn widespread criticism. Reproductive health care providers question its use of the term “fetal heartbeat,” a descriptor that’s more emotional than clinical (the sound heard on ultrasounds is caused by electrical activity; heart valves aren’t actually present). Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor offered a blistering, Ruth Bader Ginsburg-esque dissent calling the law “clearly unconstitutional.” The law has even been condemned by private companies like Lyft, which established a defense fund to cover legal fees for drivers sued under the law. In the words of one Slate headline: “The Supreme Court Overturned Roe v. Wade in the Most Cowardly Manner Imaginable.”

But none of these objections lessen the impact the law has already had. SB 8 has had “a chilling effect” on abortion providers in Texas, said Lisa Humes-Schulz, vice president of policy and regulatory affairs at Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates. “No one wants to get sued,” she added, and the fallout has been swift.

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