Are artificial sweeteners bad for your heart? Plus, a second person dies of monkeypox, and more health news

Could artificial sweeteners be bad for your heart?

Artificial sweeteners are a popular way to try to keep slim, but French researchers suggest they may also increase your risk for a heart attack or stroke.

The finding stems from tracking heart health among more than 103,000 men and women in France for close to a decade.

“We observed that a higher intake of artificial sweeteners was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases,” said study author Mathilde Touvier. She is director of the nutritional epidemiology research team at the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research and Sorbonne Paris Nord University.

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Big breakfasts could be the key to weight loss

Dieters who believe that eating a big breakfast followed by a small dinner is the surest way to lose weight will likely be very disappointed by the findings of a new, small study.

What did the researchers discover? Eating the largest meal early in the day is unlikely to make any difference.

“The notion of timing of eating to influence health has been around for a long time,” said study author Alexandra Johnstone, a registered nutritionist and professor in the school of medicine, medical sciences and nutrition with the Rowett Institute at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

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Second person in U.S. dies after monkeypox diagnosis

A second person in the United States infected with monkeypox has died in California.

As in the earlier case in Texas, public health officials are investigating what role the virus may have played in the death of this second patient.

“We will be doing an autopsy. So, it does take time for those results to come back. So, it may be as soon as a few days, or it may take a few weeks,” Los Angeles County’s Dr. Rita Singhal told reporters on Thursday. The autopsy was planned for Friday.

An estimated 18 people have died around the world in this monkeypox outbreak.

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Dogs have died after licking a common chemotherapy cream

Your dog may like to lick your hand or face, but if you’re using a chemotherapy cream that treats certain skin conditions, you should not allow it, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises.

The medication fluorouracil is fatal to dogs when ingested. People who keep the cream on a nightstand or counter should put it out of reach of their dogs, who may ingest it if they chew the container, the FDA advised.

The agency has received reports involving dogs that were exposed to the cream; all the dogs have died.

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America’s rural roads are quiet but deadly

A new report reveals a hidden secret about the nation’s beautiful rural roads: They’re too often fatal for motorists.

Nearly half of all U.S. crashes happen on rural roads, despite only 19% of Americans living in those areas. The report, conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), details why and what can be done to prevent these fatal crashes.

“Roads are the backbone of rural America, connecting far-flung communities and families. While cities and urban areas have alternatives to driving, that’s not the case for people in rural areas,” GHSA executive director Jonathan Adkins said in an association news release.

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Air pollution increases heart attacks in nonsmokers

Air pollution is associated with significant increases in heart attacks among nonsmokers, according to a study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2022, held from Aug. 26 to 29 in Barcelona, Spain.

Insa de Buhr-Stockburger, M.D., from the Berlin Brandenburg Myocardial Infarction Registry, and colleagues examined the association between nitric oxide, particulate matter (PM₁₀), and weather variables with the incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) in Berlin. The analysis included 17,873 MI cases from 2008 to 2014.

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First needle-free COVID-19 vaccines approved in India and China

While researchers explore the possibilities of COVID-19 vaccines that do not require an injection, public health officials in India and China have already each approved new needle-free versions for their citizens.

In India, regulators on Tuesday approved a nasal vaccine developed in the United States and manufactured by the company Bharat Biotech. Meant for people who have not yet been vaccinated, it was not clear how well it works because the company has not yet released study results, although it has also applied for the spray to be used as a booster. A timeline for the nasal spray’s rollout was also not available, the Associated Press reported.

“This step will further strengthen our collective fight against the pandemic,” Indian Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Twitter.

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