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By Lauran Neergaard The Associated Press

Surgeon General calls youth vaping a public health threat

WASHINGTON — The U.S. surgeon general is calling e-cigarettes an emerging public health threat to the nation’s youth.

In a report being released Thursday, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy acknowledged a need for more research into the health effects of “vaping,” but said e-cigarettes aren’t harmless and too many teens are using them.

Walking is medicine? It helped high-risk seniors stay mobile

WASHINGTON — It’s not too late to get moving: Simple physical activity ‚Äî mostly walking ‚Äî helped high-risk seniors stay mobile after disability-inducing ailments even if, at 70 and beyond, they’d long been couch potatoes.

One health policy specialist said the study released Monday suggests prescribing exercise may be just as important as prescribing medications.

Mother uncovers lasting impact of baby son’s organ donation

WASHINGTON — An ultrasound showed one of Sarah Gray’s unborn twins was missing part of his brain, a fatal birth defect. His brother was born healthy but Thomas lived just six days. Latching onto hope for something positive to come from heartache, Gray donated some of Thomas’ tissue for scientific research his eyes, his liver, his umbilical cord blood.

Studies shine light on mysterious placenta, how it goes awry

WASHINGTON — Scientists carefully probe a placenta donated after birth, bluish umbilical cord still attached. This is the body’s most mysterious organ, and inside lie clues about how it gives life and how it can go awry, leading to stillbirth, preterm birth, even infections like the Zika virus, that somehow sneak past its protective barrier.

Watch for behaviour changes for clues of dementia onset

WASHINGTON — Memory loss may not always be the first warning sign that dementia is brewing changes in behaviour or personality might be an early clue.

Researchers on Sunday outlined a syndrome called “mild behavioural impairment” that may be a harbinger of Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and proposed a checklist of symptoms to alert doctors and families.

Loneliness hurts: Senior health about more than disease

WASHINGTON — Grandma’s cholesterol is OK, but maybe the doctor should be asking about her social life, too.

Think about health during the senior years, and a list of common ailments pops to mind. But that’s not the whole story. New research suggests factors such as loneliness and whether they’ve broken any bones since middle age also play a role in the well-being of older adults.