Health News

Guest Blog: The 10 Most Surprising Things I’ve Learned as a Health Blogger

December 6, 2010 at 10:58 am , by

My friend Lisa Collier Cool is an award-winning health writer. In fact, her very first published work was a letter to the editor in Ladies’ Home Journal when she was 9 years old! That’s Lisa, right, in Cozumel, Mexico, bonding with a dolphin (“What was most surprising is how the dolphin was so friendly and seemed to be smiling as he gently kissed me,” she says. “It’s amazing how strong and gentle these wonderful animals are.”) In addition to her books and magazine work, Lisa also started blogging this year. I was curious what fascinating things she’s learned from that, so she agreed to share her top 10 list in this guest blog just for the Ladies’ Lounge.

Did you know that it’s possible to survive for months or even years without a heartbeat or pulse? I didn’t until I interviewed someone who had done just that, thanks to a new type of heart pump that’s saving the lives of people who have heart failure, including former vice president Dick Cheney. Here’s a look at 10 more surprising things I’ve learned about health as the lead health blogger for GE’s Healthymagination, covering the latest medical news and innovations from all over the globe, with the help of a team of guest bloggers.

1. Kids who play outside have better vision. Children who spend time outdoors are less likely to develop myopia (nearsightedness), a vision problem that typically starts in elementary school. A recent study found that nearsighted kids spend an average of about eight hours a week outside, compared with more than 12 hours for kids with normal vision. Children with myopia also watched more TV. The researchers theorize that staying indoors, glued to the tube, deprives kids of opportunities to focus on distant objects as their vision develops.

2. A little-known but dangerous disorder affects one in four Americans. Most people (85 percent) have never heard of metabolic syndrome and don’t know that it’s a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal lipid (cholesterol) levels and an apple-shaped body. And of the more than 211,000 men and women polled, less than 1 percent thought they had it themselves. Actually, 50 million Americans suffer from metabolic syndrome, tripling their risk for heart attack and stroke and quintupling it for type 2 diabetes.

Read more